Lacrosse: Mounties edge MKA Cougars in tight 9-7 win
photo by John Ludas
by Andrew Garda
Saturday saw two Montclair lacrosse teams clash on the lacrosse field, each in the hopes of grabbing their first win of the season. While the Montclair Kimberley Academy boys got out to an early 4-1 lead, the Montclair High School Mounties were the ones who came away with the 9-7 victory.
The Mounties’ win was fueled by a stellar game from senior Matt Comini’s four goals and a tremendous outing between the pipes for goaltender Ashton Smith. While those two stood out, though, there was plenty of praise to go around.
For the Cougars, it was a game they walked away from knowing they could have won. After jumping to that early lead on the back of two goals by junior Ryan Dancy, as well as scores from senior Jared Levine and sophomore Dylan Hall, the Cougar defense seemed to falter a little and MHS was able to assert some control.
MKA went into halftime with a 4-3 lead, but momentum seemed to have shifted with Comini's first score, where he bulled his way from behind the goal and bounced the ball past Cougar goalie Alex Melitz.
The Mounties took their cue from their captain, grabbing the lead in the third quarter with four goals while holding MKA to just two. MHS was also able to slow the Cougar attack down, especially Dancy, a player who had looked dominant early in the match.
MKA would not quit, though, and several poor passes and penalties y MHS kept things close, with the Cougars creeping to within two goals with just under a minute to play. However, MHS’ defense stiffened up and Smith made several nice saves to keep the lead.
Then the Mounties simply worked on eating the clock up, and the Cougars ran out of time.
As is expected in games like this, the match was a hard-fought and chippy affair, with both teams fighting until the very end. Both teams are striking similar in their style of play as well as the mistakes they make, and so the game stayed close as each coaching staff made adjustments to attack the other team's weaknesses.
For MKA, they have a few days off due to Passover and then will face St. Augustine Prep on Thursday before another layoff to the following Tuesday when they welcome Morristown to campus.
Meanwhile the Mounties ratchet things up with six games in fourteen days, kicking things off with Caldwell at home on Tuesday before traveling to Ramapo for a game on Thursday.
For a deep dive into the game, with quotes from both coaching staffs and reaction from other games during the week, check out Thursday's print edition of the Montclair Local.