Warriors develop chemistry in championship lacrosse season


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By Wayne Witkowski

With only two seniors starting, New Egypt High School’s boys lacrosse team nailed down a 12-4 overall record and its first Burlington County Scholastic League (BCSL) championship behind high-scoring junior midfielder Kyle Prouty.

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Playing in only its second year in the expanded BCSL after moving from the Colonial Valley Conference, the Warriors finished 7-3 in the division. Prouty hammered home 62 goals — after notching 74 as a sophomore — and 20 assists.

The team’s season ended in its second straight trip to the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group I tournament, where it dropped its opening-round match to Robbinsville High School, 18-7. Its other three losses came by a combined five goals.

“I credit coach [Brendan] McCarthy, a terrific coach who changed things around and helped us with his lacrosse playing background,” Prouty said. “We have players who care for the sport and built a tremendous chemistry.”

New Egypt enjoyed its best season since 2010, when it was 13-5. It had slipped in recent years, bottoming out at 4-13 two seasons ago before an upswing to 9-9 last season, when it made the state tournament for the first time in many years, losing in the first round to New Providence High School.

“This year, we had a big class of juniors who were very dedicated,” said McCarthy, who was assisted by Eric Craig. “They did anything needed, and it clicked. We had good defense in front of the goalie. And we had freshmen who played into varsity roles.”

That’s where defensemen Jake Kear, a junior, and Cole Curran, a freshman, figured in so strongly, as they made second team All-BCSL. Senior Jason Lane and junior Dylan Manuguerra also started on defense for the second straight year alongside another returning starter in Kear.

Junior Chase Durbin stopped more than 150 shots on goal and allowed only one goal in three games.

Junior Brady Mannion, who is headed to Arcadia University in the fall, anchored the attack with fellow returning starter Zack Young, a junior, and freshman Bob Farrand. Bill Frazier, a senior out for the first time, and Mario Reed, a junior who kicked for the football team and started last season as well, complemented Prouty in the midfield. Prouty controlled 87 percent of the faceoffs, according to New Egypt’s charts.

“I knew in my sophomore year, we were starting a turnaround and clicked. This year, everything clicked,” Prouty said. “We were kind of well-rounded offensively and defensively. Brady controlled things on the attack and I did the same in the midfield, and we found a defense that worked for us, especially when we used one that coach McCarthy called ‘Mohawk.’ ”

McCarthy felt similarly and also credited the leadership in general of Lane as the captain.

“We were controlling the ball on the offensive zone and not making mistakes and controlling the defense to set the pace,” McCarthy said. “We tried to get more long possessions.”

But after such an explosive year, Prouty realized that teams would cover him more closely.

“I knew teams could take away what I do on the offensive end, so I was nervous,” Prouty said. “But what I would see is that they’d cover me and I’d get the ball to someone in the open. They faceguarded me, but I [still] put up big numbers. My teammates helped me a lot.”

With all but two returning, the chemistry is in place for a big season again next spring.

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