Eight teams are left in the BCCA boys lacrosse tournament, which resumes today.
No. 1 Ridgewood vs. No. 8 Ramsey
No. 2 Northern Highlands vs. No. 10 Pascack Valley
No. 3 Ramapo vs. No. 6 Glen Rock
No. 4 Bergen Catholic vs. No. 12 Don Bosco
Here’s a look how each of them got there:
No. 1 Ridgewood – Bye, beat Paramus Catholic 18-1
The Maroons’ second round win pushed their record to 11-0 and sustained their status as the only unbeaten squad in North Jersey. Seniors Kevin Mollihan (36 goals) and Cooper Telesco (33) anchor an offense that’s scored 13.3 goals per game this season. Against Paramus Catholic, Mollihan recorded four goals and Telesco picked up a hat trick. And the Maroons bolstered their regular season résumé during the week by beating Don Bosco in an 11-4 final.
No. 2 Northern Highlands – Bye, beat NV/Old Tappan 16-3
The second ranked Highlanders (9-2) benefitted from a nine point game from Thomas Heber (4 goals, 5 assists) and key contributions from Tyler Butwin and Ethan Plasker to blow out the Golden Knights. Northern Highlands’ offense runs through Hebner and Butwin, who have combined for 50 goals this season. Hebner’s 22 assists is tied for seventh in North Jersey. Earlier in the week, Northern Highlands defeated Fair Lawn and No. 6 Mahwah.
No. 3 Ramapo – Bye, beat Westwood 19-1
The Raiders offense has gradually improved over the last four games and its recent 19-goal outburst marked a season high. Ramapo heavily relies on Andrew Robbins (28 goals), but has seen several others step up of late. Among those are Jack Griffin, Michael Kowal and Jack Landel who all scored three times in the win over the Cardinals. The lockdown play from Johnny Caponi and Luke Mutterer in net also factors into the team’s success. Ramapo hasn’t given up more than seven goals since April 2 and posted a 3.25 goals against average over the last four games.
No. 4 Bergen Catholic – Bye, beat Fair Lawn 16-3
“Jekyll-and-hyde” no more, the Crusaders are on a seven-game winning streak and have found a new level of consistency with their balance on offense. Nine different players scored in the team’s win over the Cutters with each scoring between one and three goals. Dwayne Mattushik alleviated some of the scoring burden on Jeremy Magno (32 goals) and Trevor Weingarten (26 goals) by chipping in seven points in the win over Fair Lawn. Bergen Catholic also earned recent wins over the Hun School and Montclair.
No. 6 Glen Rock – Bye, beat River Dell 9-4
The Panthers pitched a first half shutout against River Dell, slowing down one of the strongest offenses in the area. Max Egermeyer provided a game-high four goals for Glen Rock and Eric Spada scored twice. Glen Rock (9-3) enters its semifinal against Ramapo having won four of five.
No. 8 Ramsey – Bye, beat NV/Demarest 13-7
Matt Spagnoletti broke out with a four-goal game against NV/Demarest and the Rams got their usual scoring contributions from Tyler Harmon and Rob Sciubba en route to an outstanding win. Ramsey distributes the bell as well as just about anyone. Entering Tuesday’s games, three Ramsey players occupied the top four spots in the North Jersey assist leaderboard – Tommy Fatuova with 34, Harmon with 31 and Sciubba with 28. Ramsey also beat Passaic Valley and Westwood during the week, accumulating 48 goals during the three-game wining streak. Now, that offense faces a monumental challenge against the stingy Ridgewood defense led by Syracuse-bound Brett Kennedy.
No. 10 Pascack Valley – Bye, beat St. Joseph 8-6
Faceoff specialist Jimmy Spillane won 13 of 18 draws and tallied three points in the Indians’ impressive win over St. Joseph. Nick Stevens, Conor Kimball and Mike Soravilla also scored three goals apiece in the victory for 8-2 Pascack Valley. Spillane is a solid all-around player with 31 goals and 17 assists on the season and an 83 percent faceoff percentage.
No. 12 Don Bosco – Bye, beat Mahwah 9-2
There were many people who believed (coach Brendan Gorman and myself included) that the Ironmen deserved better than a 12 seed. The Ironmen certainly looked the part of a top tier team in the second round by overthrowing fifth-seeded Mahwah and turning in a statement win. Wagner-bound senior Dom Branda delivered a seven-goal performance, Russell Masci set up a few scoring plays and Steven Rann was solid in net. All the pieces came together for Don Bosco in what hardly felt like an upset.
Other notes from around North Jersey:
Park Ridge/Emerson has to be pleased with how its inaugural varsity season has gone. The co-op program improved to 7-4 by beating Hawthorne, 14-1, on Saturday.
Just about the same thing can be said for first-year program Tenafly (7-4). Junior Alon Berkowitz scored a game-tying goal with about 10 seconds left in the Tigers’ game versus Passaic Tech last Wednesday. Then senior attack Noah Kasten fired in the game-winning tally about a minute into overtime.
Fair Lawn seems to have gotten a jolt from its overtime win over Dwight-Englewood a few weeks ago. The Cutters had won three of four before losing to Bergen Catholic in the BCCA Sweet Sixteen. They recently beat Paramus and Waldwick – two higher seeded teams in my internal rankings – with its win over the Spartans coming in the county tournament.
Top goal scoring performances of last week:
- Eight: River Dell’s Matt Coppola
- Seven: Don Bosco’s Dom Branda
- Six: Boonton’s Connor Davis, Fair Lawn’s Marc Terwilliger, Ramsey’s Declan Rybacki, Park Ridge/Emerson’s Thomas Morgan
- Five: Dwight-Englewood’s Mickey Sacks, Hawthorne’s Joseph Carr, Mahwah’s Aidan Carroll, NV/Demarest’s Sean Jansson, Paramus Catholic’s Rob Spedding, Park/Ridge Emerson’s Shawn Sweeney and Ryan McGee Passaic Valley’s Jake McGowan
Around the fields: