Disruptions don’t bother West Morris in win over Princeton

By Mark Kitchin


WASHINGTON TWP. (Morris) — With a backup goalie in the cage and their season in the balance, it looked as if West Morris’ chances of advancing in the state tournament were slipping away on Saturday. However, the Wolfpack showed enough grit late in the game to earn a 16-14 victory over Princeton in a North Group II quarterfinal contest.

Senior Emily Delaney had six goals and Maggie Maroney scored four goals in the game that was continued from Thursday afternoon when weather conditions forced action to a halt early in the second half. The game, played on West Morris’ grass field, could not be resumed until Saturday.

Emilia Lopez-Ona scored five goals and Taylor Blair had four goals for sixth-seeded Princeton (11-5). Third-seeded West Morris advances and will travel to second-seeded Vernon on Tuesday for the next round.

West Morris’ Maggie Maroney scored four goals including the eventual game-winner for the Wolfpack.

Girls lacrosse contests must be 80 percent complete in order to be deemed official. Referees stopped play with 22:08 left in the second half with West Morris holding a 7-5 advantage.

If was a little bizarre for the Wolfpack (12-6) to be playing the same team just two days later but in some ways knowing the short amount of time left made it easier on some of the players.

“I came in thinking it was a full game,’’ Delaney said. “When we found out in the locker room that it was half a game, we decided to come out and work hard for 20 minutes and leave it all out on the field. We did. It was a close game but we pulled it through.

“It was nice having the mindset of basically one and done — one half and get it done. It was awesome. It was definitely hard coming out against the same team. They know how we play, we know how they play. ’’

West Morris also put in a good effort for junior keeper Pilar Gonzalez. She is filling in for starter Chrissy Baffuto who is out with concussion symptoms from an earlier game. She made 11 saves and was tough in the cage especially late when Princeton rallied and was pressuring the cage with some chances to tie.

“She did great,’’ Delaney said. “She had a rough game in the beginning but she pulled it out in the end. We needed her. We trust each other on the field and we practice with Pilar every day. Whoever is in there, you have to get it done.’’

“She started two games this year and she started a couple of games last year,’’ West Morris coach Rob Herman said. “She also split time in some games where she came in the second half or halfway through the second half.

“I consider her our second varsity goalie. We don’t have a jayvee goalie so she’s forced to play there also. She has quick hands and she’s got a really good clear.’’

West Morris’ Emily Delaney connected six times in the Wolfpack’s state tournament win.

On Thursday, West Morris was up 7-1 with seven minutes left in the half beforePrincetonrallied for three consecutive goals. They added another score at the start of the second half before the clouds darkened, lightning flashed and the thunder rolled in. On Saturday, they picked up right where they left off. When the Tigers’ Margaret Hough connected with 17:19 left to make it a 9-8 game it looked like the Wolfpack would be in for a struggle, but 36 seconds later West Morris replied with an Amy Ernst goal to make it 9-9.

“I don’t know why they were so tough,’’ Delaney said. “We played great on defense, but sometimes if you don’t slide, they go straight to goal. We had to win the draw more often and eventually we did.’’

Delaney had an unassisted goal at 16:32 which was matched by Lopez-Ona’s free position at the 15-minute mark to tie the game at 10-all. West Morris would eventually open up a 14-11 edge with 9:33 left with the help of goals by Maroney, Delaney, Liz McCarty and Nicki Albanese. However, Princeton responded with three quick goals. The last one by Chiara Favalaro with 2:52 left knotted the game at 14.

Maroney had the game-winner. She came in from the right side and connected low for her unassisted score with 2:15 left. The Tigers won the next draw and had several shots but couldn’t get it past Gonzalez and the Wolfpack defense was able to clear it away with about a minute left.

The Wolfpack scored once more with 22 seconds left but that goal actually drew the ire of West Morris coaches.  They were screaming just to keep possession of the ball to let the clock run out rather than risking a miss and giving the Tigers another scoring opportunity.

West Morris and Princeton players scramble hard for the ball in second-half action on Saturday.

However, West Morris survived to play another day, although their opponent will be a demanding one.Vernon is a long trip and once the game starts the situation won’t get any easier.

“It’s going to be a tough one,’’ Delaney said. “We were on the road a lot in the beginning of the season. All we need to do is have the mindset of get there, warm up and … play.’’

Boys lacrosse games of note:

State tournament

Group III

West Morris 15, Mainland 1 – Mark Charles, Shawn Barnes and C.J. Shea all registered hat tricks in the Wolfpack win. West Morris travels to Moorestown next.

Kingsway 15, Morris Knolls 1 – Schuyler Nyegaard scored the only goal for the Golden Eagles (9-10). Kingsway travels to faceMount Olive next.

Regular Season

Bridgewater-Raritan 11, Mountain Lakes 6 – Under-19 National Team pool member Tyler Babarich may have opened the eyes of his possible future coach (MountainLakes’) Tim Flynn with a three-goal effort. Bill Burgoyne scored four times for the Lakers. Bridgewater-Raritan outscored Mountain Lakes 7-2 in the second half.


About mcvbb

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

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