North Brunswick girls lacrosse beats Rutgers Prep

North Brunswick girls lacrosse beats Rutgers Prep


North Brunswick girls lacrosse beats Rutgers Prep



As a frigid wind blew in off the adjacent Raritan River, the North Brunswick and Rutgers Prep girls lacrosse teams faced off on Friday in cold, rainy weather more suited to football than spring lacrosse.

“We’ve played in worse weather,” said North Brunswick head coach Danielle Bussiere, whose team defeated Rutgers Prep in a 14-6 victory. “They knew it was raining all day, they’ve got to come out ready to play, and we didn’t come out in the first half ready to play. But I don’t think the weather had anything to do with it.”

North Brunswick (3-2), coming off of consecutive victories over South Brunswick and Edison, came out flat in the first half in Somerset. Rutgers Prep (0-2) answered early goals by Sam Mehalick with goals by Matina Kakalis and solid goaltending by Madison Mento, who made five of her eight saves in the first half.

“She’s a freshman, and we’re very happy to have her,” said Rutgers Prep head coach Carole Zboray of Mento. “She’s been working very hard this season. Her instincts are beautiful; she just needs to have confidence on herself. As a lacrosse goalie, you’re going to get a lot of goals scored on you and you need to be able to get over it. I think this game she did a much better job getting over the goals that went in.”

The teams battled to a 3-2 North Brunswick lead at halftime, when Bussiere addressed her team.

“They knew that they weren’t on their game,” the Raiders coach said. “I told them they were playing Rutgers Prep’s game and not our game. We had a great win against South Brunswick and the team that came out in the first half today wasn’t the team that came out against South Brunswick, and they knew it. They just needed some kind of fuel to just boost them up.”

The Raiders came out in the second half and took control of the game, behind sophomore phenom Mehalick, who netted three goals in the opening minutes to force a Rutgers Prep timeout with North Brunswick leading, 7-2. Mehalick posted another score a minute later before Mento was able to stop the bleeding with two consecutive saves for the Argonauts.

“I was happy with the connections and the transition,” Bussiere said, “connecting and passing three four passes in a row, that’s what I was happy to see them do today.”

North Brunswick continued to add to the lead, as Mehalick notched five of her team-high seven goals in the second half and fellow sophomore Tatum Altman notched four to put the Raiders up, 12-2, with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Rutgers Prep refused to go away, however, mounting a rally that saw a McKayla Mottolo goal bracketed by two scores from Julia Lombardo to pull the Argonauts to within striking distance with five minutes to play, 12-5.

The Raiders were able to get a clutch goal from Meg Illes to regain momentum, eventually closing the contest out with a 14-6 win.

“They still just have a lot of things to learn,” said Bussiere, after the victory. “But it’s awesome to have a young team because we have a bright future. They’re talented, and they’ve been playing hard.”

Morristown 15, New Providence 8: Jillian Balog and Gaby Estupinian each scored two goals and Nicole Dillon netted a goal and two assists for New Providence (4-2). Pioneers goalie Sarah Zeto made 13 saves in the loss.

Boys Lacrosse

Rutgers Prep 5, Voorhees 4: Jack Vajda recorded a hat trick and Tom Smith added a goal and two assists as Rutgers Prep (2-2) came back from a 4-3 halftime deficit. Christian Klipstein made 11 saves for the Argonauts. Dylan Raposo scored two goals for Voorhees (0-3) while Chris Stanaback made 17 saves in goal.


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