St. Joseph gearing up for boys lacrosse tournaments


Share post:

By Jimmy Allinder

Round one between the top two boys lacrosse teams in the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) has gone to Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen, but the fight isn’t over yet.

- Advertisement -

The Falcons (9-2 overall, 7-0 conference) defeated Monroe Township High School by a 9-8 margin April 21 to clinch the GMC regular-season title. St. Joe’s and Monroe (8-2 overall, 6-1 conference), barring upsets during the first two rounds of the conference tournament, will meet again for the championship. The postseason affair begins May 10 with quarterfinal matches, continues with the semifinals two days later at a site to be determined and concludes May 14 at North Brunswick Township High School, where the title will be settled.

St. Joe’s hopes to rebound from a 10-9 loss to state power Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School April 23 and finish the regular season with momentum as it begins a drive to win not only the GMC Tournament, but also the NJSIAA sectionals. That state tournament begins with a first-round game May 21 against an opponent to be determined. The Falcons are currently ranked sixth by the points system in New Jersey Group A.

The Falcons have been led in scoring by senior Jimmy Tovey, who has 26 goals and 17 assists. No goal was more important than the one the midfielder deposited into the net with just over a minute left in the Monroe match to break an 8-8 stalemate. Others who have contributed include junior attacks Timmy Day (21 goals, 32 assists) and Max Bischoff (16 goals, 24 assists) and senior midfielder Brett Krause (19 goals, one assist). Senior goaltender Ryan Hultberg has been stellar in the net, registering every decision and making 106 saves.

The Edison High School and J.P. Stevens High School boys lacrosse teams are works in progress, as their respective records (1-7 overall, 1-6 conference) and (3-5 overall, 2-3 conference) indicate. In their first head-to-head meeting, the Hawks edged the Eagles, 3-2, April 1, and the teams will meet again May 12.

J.P. Stevens is ranked 15th in the New Jersey Group 4 North section, according to rankings as of April 23. Depending on the outcome of its remaining games before May 14, the team could qualify for the NJSIAA North Jersey, Group IV tournament, which begins with first-round matches May 18.

“At the current time, we’re behind the rest of the conference in terms of growth because we did not have [an Edison recreation department] feeder program until this year,” Edison’s first-year coach, Jim Duhamel, said. “Our goal is to get better every day and that the players give it their all.”

The Eagles’ attack is led by juniors Harsh Patel and Justin Zhu, senior Mike Sasso and sophomore Mike Yascko. The midfield includes seniors Mike Tutalo and Jack Campbell and junior Mike Schwarz. The defense features senior John Sacchi and juniors Mathew Johnson and Damian Modzewlski. Senior Justin Colon has been the team’s top goaltender.

J.P. Stevens hopes to surpass last season’s 6-10 overall record and despite the team’s mark so far, head coach Mike Siter is pleased with the overall direction of the program.

“Lacrosse is growing [here],” Siter said. “We had 36 come out for the varsity and junior varsity teams this season. However, every player is new to the sport, so it takes time to develop them into players [who can contribute].”

The attack has been led by seniors Yevgen Bogutskyy and Zachary Piotroski and sophomore Kevin Scoda. The midfield features senior Michael Dick and juniors Robert Distefano and Sean Senevirate.

Distefano, one of the state’s leading scorers in ice hockey the past two seasons, has made a seamless transition to lacrosse and has led the Hawks with 22 goals, four assists and 58 ground balls.

Senior Bret Sklar handles faceoffs, while the defense is led by seniors Noel Negron and Jeff Coleman and junior Paul Trevidic. Senior Paul Kim is the team’s goaltender.

J.P. Stevens’ chief aim is targeted at winning seven games, which would surpass last year’s total by one match. That means the Hawks will need to win four of their eight remaining games, Siter said.

“Keeping up with teams in our conference has been very difficult in the past,” Siter said. “But we’re hopeful that with the youth program conducted by the township recreation department, we’ll improve. It will take time to realize the benefits of this program; however, we have confidence about the direction we’re headed.”

Stay Connected


Current Issue

Latest News

Related articles

Edison captures first sectional football title since 1991; ends Cinderella postseason run in state semifinal

EDISON - There was no doubt in the mind of Edison High School football coach Matt Fulham that...

North Brunswick makes history, upsets Saint Joseph Metuchen to win first ever Greater Middlesex Conference championship

History was made on the diamond of Raymond J. Cipperly Field in East Brunswick on May 29. The...

Middlesex College baseball team holds school record; softball ranked 11th in the nation 

  The Middlesex College baseball and softball teams have had historic success in 2022 and have received individual and...

St. Thomas Aquinas mourns the loss of head football coach Brian Meeney

St. Thomas Aquinas High School Athletic Director Jerry Smith has known the Trojans’ head football Coach Brian Meeney...