Close contests provide thrills at Lacrosse Jamboree

By Mark Kitchin


MADISON- There’s nothing like playing lacrosse with some old friends and reuniting with old enemies. Well to be honest, even rivals can become friends in a short time when the object is to have some fun.

Mountain Lakes’ defenseman Jeff Chang saw nothing wrong with teaming up with some of their Delbarton rivals and plenty of others during Sunday’s Gil Gibbs Boys High School Senior All-Star Games on Sunday as part of the New Jersey Lacrosse Jamboree.

The festivities included two girls Senior All-Star Games and two boys All-Star Games on Madison High’s turf field that was also surrounded by numerous Youth Lacrosse contests.

The All-Star Games provide the athletes terrific competition and a sense of transition from the high school to the college level which many of them will be playing next spring. At halftime all the scholastic All-Americans that were able to compete were given their awards. Those who will play other sports or have decided to end their involvement in competitive lacrosse got a chance for one final fling in front of an appreciative crowd of friends and family.

Mountain Lakes defenseman Jeff Chang keeps his eye on the ball while keeping up with Morristown midfielder Kyle Goss.

“It’s definitely kind of sad that lacrosse is over,’’ Chang said. “It is fun that we get back on the field, back at it and prepare for college lacrosse. It was fun to have one final time with the guys.’’

Chang had plenty of friends with him on the white-shirted Mohawk Team. His teammates included his Lakers mates Bill Burgoyne, Andrew Portnoy, Greg Cuccinello and Tim LaBeau. However, he also played with Delbarton standouts Clay Haarmann, Peter McMullen and Jack Breit.

“Playing with those guys is not a big deal,’’ Chang said. “The only thing that might have been difficult is that obviously we didn’t have practice. For some of us it’s the first time we’ve picked up a stick in awhile but everyone knew they were going to have fun.’’

Delbarton standout Clay Haarmann scored twice on Sunday in Gil Gibbs All-Star action.

Chang, who will be attending Tufts University in the spring, felt as if the event set the proper tone in order to turn the page and get ready for college. When he saw the lineups for both teams, he knew it was going to be a battle.

“I expected a close game,’’ Chang said. “I knew both teams had a lot of power on their side which made it interesting. It was just a really great experience.’’

The game between the white-clad Mohawk team and the light blue Onondaga team was well contested with Onondaga earning a 10-9 triumph on a goal by Moorestown defenseman Dane Dickey with 1:51 left in regulation.

Haarmann and Ridge’s Jason Mertz each scored twice. Portnoy, Burgoyne and LaBeau each scored goals for Mohawk. Other Morris County competitors included Madison midfielder Colin McLinden, in his final game on his home turf, and Mendham midfielder Harrison Wardle. Delbarton’s Chuck Ruebling was one of he coaches.

Morristown attackman Ross Blanchard had a goal and an assist for the winning Onondaga side. Colonials’ Kyle Goss and Alec Schunk also saw plenty of action. Hillsborough’s John Jenkins and Holmdel’s Mike Cantelli scored two goals apiece for the Onondaga team.

Pequannock’s Ryan Macejka (left) and Nick Guida combine for a first-quarter goal in Sunday’s contest.

Seneca 13, Cayuga 10

Mount Olive’s Peter Shaver scored twice including the opening goal in Seneca’s victory. The game was an eye-opener for the Marauders attackman who expects to continue playing lacrosse at the Division III level. He had a challenging time playing alongside athletes from Bridgewater-Raritan and Immaculata, two of this year’s final four Tournament of Champions teams.

“Mount Olive usually plays some lower level teams,’’ Shaver said. “This was an opportunity to play with kids on teams that are really up there, kids that I watch on television all the time.

“It’s kind of easy to play with these kids. They are so good and they know the game so well. It also showed me what I have to work on over the summer if I want to play forMontclair State next spring.’’

Shaver didn’t seem to mind being thrown in with a good number of lacrosse players from outside Morris County. Madison defenseman George Thompson was the only other area athlete on the red-clad Seneca team. Immaculata’s Taylor Vanderbeek fired a hat trick and his teammate, New Jersey Player of the Year Ralph D’Agostino scored twice for Seneca.

Mount Olive’s Peter Shaver scored twice including a goal to open the game on Sunday.

Glen Ridge’s Elijah Conte had three goals for Cayuga. Chatham’s Nick Guida and Pequannock’s Ryan Macejka each had a goal and two assists for the blue team.

“I’ve never really thought of it as a sad game,’’ said Guida, an All-American who will play collegiately at Fairfield. “It’s just a great way for kids that you’ve been playing with your whole life growing up to just get together to have fun and play a game. It’s easy to come out here and play. There’s no pressure to make a big play so everyone is out here having fun and trying to give everyone an opportunity to go to the goal and make a play.’’

Chatham midfielder Jack Eisenreich and defenseman John Radigan also competed in the contest as did Montville midfielder Andrew Reynolds and Mendham defenseman Anthony Desiderio. Pequannock’s Josh Danziger was one of the coaches.

Madison’s Colin McLinden looks to evade Morristown-Beard midfielder Tim Donovan during Gil Gibbs action on Sunday.

A four-goal run that included scores by Bridgewater-Raritan’s Brian Lenskold and Hunterdon Central’s Mike Schreck made it an 11-7 contest early in the fourth quarter and probable sealed the game. For the defensive-minded the highlight might have came at the final minute or two when a Cayuga goalie tried to run the ball up the field and got it knocked away from him. The Seneca’s scramble for an empty-net goal but Glen Ridge defenseman Matt McMahon got to the crease ahead of them and made a stick save to give everyone a game-ending thrill.


About mcvbb

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

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