Red Bank lacrosse zeroes in on Shore Conference Tournament


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Brett Carroll
Staff Writer

The goal has been determined this spring for the Red Bank Regional High School boys’ lacrosse team.

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“We always preach the motto ‘One Goal’,” Red Bank head coach P.J. Martin said. “Our goal all year has been to win enough games to get to the Shore Conference Tournament. If we can go .500 in the division, then we can make it. I know we’ve struggled a lot against our division over the last few years, but based on how we’ve played the first few games of the season, I think we can get that momentum going.”

The Bucs are focused to improve on a 1-17 record that they finished with in 2017.

Martin is confident that his squad can have success this spring and qualify for the Shore Conference Tournament. Last season, 17 of the 32 teams in the Shore Conference qualified for the tournament.

“One of the things that we’ve been working on is senior leadership,” Martin said. “Trying to refocus our seniors on reestablishing the culture after a tough season last year. We wanted to make sure we played physical defense.”

This spring, Red Bank has opened with a 1-3 record. The Bucs were victorious against Saint Rose High School but they fell to Freehold Township High School, Manasquan High School and Jackson Memorial High School.

“Coming off of the Manasquan game, we played much better,” senior defender Anthony Buonantuono said. “We were much more aggressive. We weren’t afraid to win ground balls. We weren’t afraid of anything and that’s good. If we play like that, on most days, we will win.”

Martin was pleased on how the Bucs handled the early stretch of the schedule.

“Luckily for us, we’ve played for games already,” Martin said. “Three of them have been in the top 10 teams in the Shore Conference, and we did that on purpose. After being 1-17, we wanted to go right into the fire. We’re going to continue to work on finishing.”

Red Bank almost pulled out a victory on the road on April 4, but the Bucs were edged by Jackson Memorial, 7-6.

“We had two great opportunities late in this game tied at six. Credit to their goalie for making two great save,” Martin said. “But we have some senior leaders that are still getting used to playing this competitively. Once they get used to that, we’ll get going.”

Some of the leaders for Red Bank are Dean Hoffman, Dan Bonano and Will Spencer, as well as goalie Matt Gibson.

“I completely agree with the ‘one goal’ montra,” Buonantuono said. “We haven’t gotten to the conference tournament in a few years. We got close my sophomore year, but we need to get in and try to win it.”

The Bucs will seek to gain victories when they travel to Old Bridge High School on April 13.

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