The seventh-seeded Mendham boys lacrosse team advanced into the Morris County Tournament quarterfinals with a 13-7 victory over No. 10 Roxbury on Monday.
Tied 6-6 at the end of the first half, the Minutemen (6-6) outscored the Gaels (11-4) 7-1 in the final two quarters to advance.
“Coach said today was all business, it was a higher seed and we kind of had the expectation of sticking it to these guys,” Mendham senior Will Robinson said. “We wanted to come out strong and I think we (were) waiting a little bit until the end but I’m glad we got the win.”
Roxbury took a 2-0 lead on goals by senior midfielders Rob Galgano and Steve Ruffin with 5 minutes 51 seconds left in the first quarter. Mendham quickly caught up and led 3-2 with 1:58 to play on two goals from junior Chandler Avallone and one from Robinson. Blaze Smith and Avallone then scored back-to-back goals, with both assists coming from senior Ross Coapman, to lead 5-2 after one quarter.
The Gaels scored three-straight to open the second quarter and junior attack Will Doran’s second goal of the day tied it up 5-5 with 4:39 left in the half. Avallone scored on an assist from senior Tim Gillespie to give Mendham back the lead, 6-5, at the half.
“You had to respect how many wins (Roxbury has), and they’re used to it,” Mendham coach Jeff Seals said. “So we knew they were going to come out, typically Roxbury is a very physical team, and we needed to be ready for that. It’s late in the season, teams are seasoned and yeah we expected it to be a good game.”
Doran struck again for Roxbury with 9:34 left in the third quarter to tie it up again, 6-6, but Mendham went on a three-goal run and led 9-6 after three.
The Minutemen opened it up in the fourth, scoring four unanswered goals and led 13-6 with 3:49 left. Ruffin scored his second of the game for the Gaels with 1:30 left for the 13-7 final.
“I think our biggest problem was shots, their goalie played great for the first three quarters, at the beginning of the third quarter we sunk three or four and that really got us going in the fourth quarter and we just dominated from there,” Avallone said. “I thought we played the zone offense really well. They came out, we thought they’d be in man and they actually came out in zone and we just ran our plays, coach sets a good offense for us and I think we picked them apart and we just had to get the shots on them, I think once we did that we started putting them in.”
Senior goalie Ryan Sanderseon made 14 saves for the Gaels, while freshman Max Schiettel made his first varsity start and made three saves for Mendham. Pierce Mead took a majority of the face offs for the Minutemen, and won 11-of-21.
Mendham moves on to face No. 2 Mountain Lakes in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Lakers defeated the Minutemen last year in the quarterfinals 6-5.
“I think there’s a chance that we might see Mountain Lakes, and it’s a team that we lost to by one goal in the final seconds last year, so we’re looking to have them back so we can get some revenge,” Robinson said.
Mendham 13, Roxbury 7
GOALS: (M) Robinson 4, Avallone 4, Gillespie 2, Robshaw, Morel, Smith; (R) Doran 3, Ruffin 2, Galgano, Dixon; ASSISTS: (M) Coapman 3, Gillespie 2, Avallone 2, Morel; (R) Reifberg 2, Snow, Ruffin; SAVES: (M) Schiettel 3; (R) Sanderson 14.