Scott draws on past experience

Scott draws on past experience

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Scott draws on past experience

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UNION TWP.

As a freshman on Ridge’s boys lacrosse Group III championship team in 2010, Eric Scott was nothing more than a role player.

What a difference three years makes.

In addition to being a glue guy as a first-year midfielder, Scott doubled as a sponge. He absorbed himself in the veteran guidance of his older teammates and took note of the intensity with which they approached each game.

So on Saturday at Kean University, when the senior took the field for the last time as a Red Devil in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final against Don Bosco Prep, he knew exactly what to do. Scott scored four goals, with Ridge needing every one of those four in an 8-7 win to earn their first T of C trophy in program history.

“It helped a lot,” said Scott, when asked about his freshman season. “It showed what kind of leadership the seniors had that year and how much it meant to them. I was a role player back then. I was just in there making plays — I didn’t need to do anything incredible. And now that we’re seniors, I had to maybe step into that senior role a little bit more, maybe try to go to the net a little more. So it was great to have that experience.”

Scott, who will take his talents to Yale University in the fall, scored both of Ridge’s first-quarter goals and added two more in the second half. Providing the true definition of a leader, all four of his scores broke ties and put the Red Devils ahead. The key for the NJILCA Player of the Year was to simply outrun his defenseman and find open turf.

“This is my last year, this is my last game, and I just knew that I was going to leave everything out there,” Scott said.

It seemed as if fellow senior Alec Burckley took the same approach into the Tournament of Champions final. Burckley, one of the top face-off men in the state, seemed to win every crucial loose ball, especially in the second half.

“I just try to remain calm, just do what my coaches have taught me all season, and it’s kind of muscle memory — keep doing what I have to do and not really think too much into it,” said Burckley.

After Scott found the back of the net to make it 5-4 Ridge early in the fourth quarter, Burckley controlled yet another face-off, took it coast-to-coast down the field, and scored to give the Red Devils some insurance. The two goals in a five-second span knocked the wind out of Don Bosco, and Ridge overcame a late Bosco surge to hang on for the victory.

“Alec is one of our huge keys,” said Ridge head coach Ken Marsh. “He wins the ball, he’s a warrior, plays offense. He does so many things for us. And the constant possessions are huge. We’re going to keep winning games, and he dominated the face-offs today.”

Scott summarized what it means to be the best boys lacrosse team in the state.

“This has been our goal since middle school,” Scott said. “We knew that this was a possibility if we worked hard enough, and it feels awesome.”

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