Mountain Lakes enjoys bounce back victory

By Mark Kitchin


KINNELON – The sky didn’t cave in and the earth didn’t explode but for some of the Mountain Lakes’ lacrosse players and fans it must have seemed like a disaster of epic proportions on Saturday.

The resilient Lakers picked up the pieces from their worst defeat in some time and on Wednesday they showed that there was still plenty of games left in the season and time left to improve their level of play before tournaments begin.

Attackman Jon Broome scored five goals and teammate Rob Orazietti added four more to lift Mountain Lakes to a 13-6 triumph over Kinnelon on Wednesday.

Mike Sammaro added a pair of goals for the Lakers which improve to 7-1 on the season. It was the Lakers first game after suffering a shocking 17-7 regular season loss to Morris County rival Delbarton on Saturday.

Kobi Frankel had two goals and two assists for Kinnelon. Brian Gnad, Mike Manero, Dom Usinowicz and Bobbie Lewis also had goals for the Colts (4-5).

The contest was tied 5-5 at the half. Scores by Dylan Muti and Broome helped the Lakers take control and build a 9-6 third-quarter edge. They ended up outscoring the Colts 8-1 in the second half to cement the victory and build back some confidence

Kinnelon’s Steve Landsburg (10) is surrounded by Mountain Lakes players as he tries to pick up a ground ball.

“Saturday was a tough game,’’ Muti said. “It’s kind of hard to bounce back from a loss like that but we knew we had to keep our heads. We came out kind of slow in the beginning. We just got our group going and it went pretty well.’’

The Lakers are still scratching their heads over Saturday’s performance in which nothing went right. The players admitted they lost a lot of faceoffs but just blaming the loss on not winning the draws is too simplistic. Mountain Lakes had breakdowns in all facets of the game.

“We didn’t win a lot of faceoffs but we can make adjustments to that when we face them next time,’’ Broome said. “We had too many turnovers on offense and our defense didn’t play its best.’’

On Monday and Tuesday the Lakers held practice as they always do. There was no drama or finger pointing. Tim Flynn’s squad just worked on fixing the problems that emerged and focused on getting better overall.

“The coach didn’t go too hard on us,’’ Broome said. “The score said enough. He didn’t need to kill us. We worked hard and fixed some of the things we needed to fix. We still have more things to fix but I think we pulled together pretty well.’’

“After Saturday we definitely worked on a lot of things,’’ Muti added. “Coach didn’t yell at us much but he said, ‘look you have to come back from this. It was a tough loss but you have to work.’ ”

Mountain Lakes’ Mike Sammaro (32) takes a Kinnelon check while pushing the ball to the cage in first half action.

Kinnelon, Mountain Lakes’ neighboring rival, showed plenty of spirit and a little home field advantage during the first half. The Colts play exclusively on grass while the Lakers are accustomed to artificial turf. Kinnelon’s familiarity with the uneven bounces on its home field helped it to quite a few ground balls early in the game.

Kinnelon’s Kobi Frankel also had a good first half. The pesky Colts’ attackman had two first-quarter goals and assisted on two more scores in the second quarter. Mountain Lakes needed to stop him.

“Coach told Tyler Batesko, probably the best defenseman on the team, to shut him down,’’ Muti said. “Tyler did just that.’’

 “At halftime the coaches said we had to win the ground balls, win the faceoffs, eliminate mistakes and put the ball in the net.’’

Muti took those words to heart and connected at 10:22 for his only goal of the game to give Mountain Lakesa 6-5 advantage and put the Lakers in front for good.

“Dylan is one of the hardest workers on the team,’’ Broome said. “He has 10 ground balls a game. He hit a nice skip bounce shot. I don’t think any goalie could have saved that. It definitely got us going in the second half.’’

Broome connected on an unassisted goal with a low shot to the left side with 4:39 to make it 7-5. The Lakers scored two of the next three goals to end the quarter including Sammaro’s goal off a Muti feed with 58 seconds left to make it a 9-6 game

Kinnelon’s Kobi Frankel (9) shares a chest bump with Brian Gnad (6) after teaming up for a goal in second-quarter action.

In the fourth quarter, Mountain Lakes put the game away. The Lakers gained a steady string of possessions and Broome and Orazietti each score two goals apiece to secure the win and begin building its confidence to face the next opponent.  

“This is big especially because it’s a conference game – Gibbs Division,’’ Broome said. “We’re undefeated still but we have Bosco and Bergen Catholic to face so it means a lot.’’



About mcvbb

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

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