Twelve different players got in on the action as the third-seeded Madison boys lacrosse team shutdown No. 14 Verona 15-0 on Friday in the first round of the North Group I Tournament.
The Dodgers (12-6) will face No. 6 Pequannock, which defeated No. 11 Pascack Hills 17-3, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Despite losing all four faceoffs in the first quarter, Madison managed to take a 3-0 lead on goals by junior attack Andrew Kaye, sophomore attack Vince Sapio and senior attack Collin Scarpello. Senior goalie Jack Ranney faced only three shots and made two saves.
“Basically that there’s no tomorrows and just give it our all and I guess by the 15-0 score we showed we can really make a run,” said Madison senior defender Ryan Stevens when asked what the team mindset was for this game. “It was incredible with zero goals the entire game, so I’ll take it as a good job.”
In the second quarter, Madison really got down to business. Five different players scored 10 goals as the Dodgers took a 13-0 halftime lead. With 7 minutes 20 seconds left in the third quarter sophomore midfielder Austin Sterkel connected on an assist from Kaye to give Madison a 14-0 lead. Justin Dalena scored with 11:10 left in the game for the 15-0 final.
“We really were just moving the ball and helping out our teammates and we just had to come out strong,” said Sapio, who scored five goals. “Defense did a great job getting the ball to us and we just got it done. We just have those connections and we were getting open a lot, we were just finding the open man.”
Verona and Madison were even on faceoffs, with senior midfielder Luke Thompson winning nine of 18. He won seven in the second quarter compared to Verona’s four.
Junior goalie Reid Collins entered the game for Ranney with five minutes left in the third quarter and made one save. Jack Spagnoletti entered with six minutes left in the game and made two saves.
“It’s a good experience for them in the coming years especially since we had freshmen, sophomores who are on JV get in,” Stevens said. “And just to give them experience and get them set for next year.”
Madison defeated Verona 14-6 last year in the first round as the No. 15 seed, but met second-seeded Mountain Lakes in the second round and were knocked out, 11-6. The Lakers are the top-seed this year in North Group I and if the Dodgers can advance to the sectional final on May 25, they could meet Mountain Lakes again. But first they’ll have to get through Pequannock and then the winner of No. 7 North Warren and No. 2 Caldwell.
“We’re very excited to be moving on but we just have to get to next Saturday,” Stevens said.
GOALS: (ML) Sapio 5, Co. Scarpello 4, Kaye, Altier, Ch. Scarpello, Casey, Sterkel, Dalena; ASSISTS: (ML) Kaye 2, Co. Scarpello 2, Ch. Scarpello 2, Sapio, Altier, Perry; SAVES: (ML) Ranney 3, Spagnoletti 2, Collins 1; (V) King 7, Rust 1.