Madison rises above .500 mark

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

MADISON– It was senior day for the Madison boys lacrosse team but its game against Randolph had a peak into the future feel to it.

Freshman Christian Scarpello had a hat trick in Madison’s 8-4 triumph against Randolphon Thursday.

Senior midfielder Colin McLinden added a pair of goals for the Dodgers which rallied from a 4-3 first-quarter deficit. They also had a strong performance from back-up keeper Ricky Romano, a senior transfer student from Delbarton, who earned his first varsity victory on 12 saves.

Kurtis Naslonski had a goal and an assist and four different players scored for the Rams (5-10).

Freshman Christian Scarpello (4) and Mike Clements (22) are among the Dodgers celebrating a second-quarter goal.

“We were down a couple of key players,’’ Madison coach Mark Sweeney said. “Ricky stepped in and did a super job. He had to sit out his 30 days so he just became eligible May 1. He works his tail off. He knew he was behind a pretty good goalie (Delaware-bound Brett Anton) and he stepped up today.’’

So did Scarpello, whose father Pat Scarpello is the FDU-Florham men’s coach. It’s not surprising that he doesn’t play like a typical freshman.

“He’s a smooth player,’’ Sweeney said. “We really feel he is going to be a good player. We try to make him work harder. He’s a gamer. He goes both hands. He knows where to go. He knows what he’s doing. He’s been around a little bit.’’

Sophomore defenders Matt McDonald and Eric Anderson saw a lot of action matching up against theRandolph attack. A junior, Eamon Epstein, had the special assignment of covering Naslonski who uncorks a wicked shot.

“Eamon is just getting better and better and better all the time,’’ Sweeney said. “He’s been stepping up and has been pushing for our best defender this year. He’s really coming along. We thought we could shut him down.’’

Madison defenseman Eric Anderson has the ball but he’s immediately swarmed on by Randolph players.

AfterRandolph exploded for four first-quarter goals, many on them in man-up situations, the Dodgers pretty much shut down the Rams. Scarpello’s third-goal off a Mike Clements feed with five minutes left in the second quarter tied the game at 4-4. Then Billy Battaglia’s unassisted tally made it a 5-4 game with 4:22 left. McLinden, who will be playing his lacrosse at Fairfield next year, connected a minute later to make it a two-goal game and a 6-4 halftime score.

Clements scored a man-up goal off a McLinden pass to make it 7-4 with 3:32 left in the third quarter. McLinden sealed the scoring with an unassisted goal early in the fourth quarter. 

Colin McLinden scored twice for the Dodgers. The Madison standout will play for Fairfield next spring.

Madison, which got off to a rough start this year, is finally over the .500 mark at 8-7. The Dodgers hope to get another win against West Essex on Saturday and gain some momentum as everyone heads for the state playoffs. It’s satisfying them to know that no matter how this year eventually turns out, the future is in good hands.

“Our young kids have stepped up and that really bodes well,’’ Sweeney said.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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