Manasquan vs. Wall Boys Lacrosse 2022

SEA STRIP — Manasquan plays without one of New Jersey’s top defensemen and will field several first-year starters, but the Warriors proved they’re still the same force to be reckoned with after an impressive win over another NHL-rated opponent. State Saturday.

Crushing work on face-off X by senior Max Pauwels set the tone for a dominating first quarter as Manasquan opened up a five-goal lead and surged to a 9-6 Shore Conference Class B South win over Wall Saturday morning at Sea Girt Military Camp.

The Warriors, ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network preseason Top 10, took a 5-0 lead after a first quarter in which the No. 4 Crimson Knights managed just one only possession that lasted less than 30 seconds. Manasquan opened up a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter, and although Wall mounted a charge in the fourth quarter, it was a comprehensive win for the three-time defending section champions over their bitter rival.

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Pauwels won 13 of 17 draws to give Manasquan a major possession advantage and the Warriors offense did the rest with a balanced attack that found space with deft passing and skillful dodging against a formidable wall defense . Senior midfielder Robert Pendergist, junior forwards Matt Porazzo and James Farinacci and junior midfielder Blake Gorski all had two goals and one assist while senior midfielder Niland DiLuchio netted once. Senior keeper Carter Groezinger played the first half in front of goal and only had to make one save. Sophomore Nick Bounassi entered the net for the second half and finished with five saves.

“Everyone gets involved, which is important,” Farinacci said. “It’s so difficult for a defense when there are six guys who can score.”

Wall was led by junior forward John McCurry and his three goals. Senior midfielder Matt Dollive scored twice and second-year midfielder William Madden scored once. Senior goaltender Aidan Kessler made six saves.

It was no secret that Manasquan was going to have a significant advantage in the X showdown with Pauwels, a Quinnipiac rookie who was a second-team All-Shore selection last season. Instead of going with a regular FOGO, Wall tried to counter with the remarkable LSM Dominick Giglio in an attempt to tie up Pauwels and allow the wings to dive and get the ball back on the ground. It worked a few times throughout the game, but more often than not Pauwels was able to win the clean faceoff.

His hard work and a relentless run from Manasquan that forced two turnovers contributed to a 6-0 run to start the game. Pendergist worked his way inside for an unassisted goal to start the scoring at 7:56 and Porazzo then made it 2-0 at 4:48. Gorski had his hands free and beat Kessler at 3:37 to make it 3-0 and Porazzo then made it 4-0 when he grabbed a rebound on a long shot and headed it in with 1:46 to play in the quarter. With 12 seconds left in the first quarter, DiLuchio scored a set-up from Farinacci to complete an emphatic 12-minute opener.

“That was key. That first quarter allowed us to relax in a way and keep running what we wanted to run,” Manasquan head coach Sean Cunningham said. “Max had a great game, as did Parker Harms and Danny Hyland, coming off the wing. It all starts there, plus we had really good production in goal.”

“We came out strong, Max was winning his faceoffs, we had good goalie play and we were able to build a big lead,” said senior defenseman Ryan Bilello.

“The approach was to attack them quickly early,” Farinacci said. “Unfortunately in the last six minutes (of the game) we kind of slowed down and the adrenaline went away, but we’ll learn from that and next time we’ll play a full game.”

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

DiLuchio’s goal came with a flag down and when Pauwels won the ensuing faceoff, it allowed Manasquan to retain possession and open the second quarter with possession. With 10 seconds left in the extra man opportunity, Farinacci cut hard towards the net and Pendergist found him with a nice pass which Farinacci caught and fired in one motion to give the Warriors a 6 lead. -0.

Wall finally entered the board with 6:57 left in the first half when Dollive scored an unassisted goal, but Manasquan responded with 2:47 on the clock when Porazzo sent a pass through the box to Farinacci, who sent it home to give Manasquan a 7-1 lead which he took at halftime.

Wall had more possession in the third quarter and had nine shots, four of which were saved by Bounassi. Gorski’s second of the game made it 8-1 before McCurry made it 8-2 when he collected the rebound from his own shot and charged to the slot before finishing his second of the game . Manasquan got another EMO with 5:09 left in the third and converted when Pendergist netted a pass from Gorski.

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Tom Smith | tspsportsimages.com

Although Wall had a possession advantage in the second and third quarters, Manasquan’s defense held firm with Bilello in the lead, Harms showing great potential with his work at LSM, second Kyle Cappadanno continuing his solid game and senior Jack Burns also contributing, as well. It was a magnificent effort without LeBlanc, a returning All-Shore first-team player who is still recovering from a football injury.

“I think I’ve played every game with Dylan since eighth grade, so it’s kind of weird not having him there,” said Bilello, a Colgate rookie who was a selection from the second-team All-Shore last season. “But it’s a next-man mentality and you have to be ready to go out and play.”

They did a great job,” Cunningham said. “Jack Burns, we put a post in his hand before the first scrum and he did a great job. Ryan Burns returns, Shjay Keating just got back to his real strength this week. We have depth there and we’re just waiting for Dylan.”

“It forced the guys to grow and Kyle Cappadanno is a perfect example of that; Parker Harms too. Kyle Cappadanno plays as well as any post I’ve seen this year and Parker Harms you saw today what is the ceiling for this young man. He’s as good as any pole we’ve seen come through this program and that’s saying something.

It was 9-2 early in the fourth quarter when Wall went on a four-goal streak. McCurry scored an EMO goal at 8:09 of the fourth as Manasquan was down two men and Madden scored at 6:12 to cut the Knights’ deficit to 9-4. Manasquan had an EMO with 2:05 remaining but came out of the box with less than two minutes left, giving Wall possession. The Knights sprinted the other way and McCurry scored a grounded goal to make it 9-5. Dollive then scored with 59.5 seconds left to make it 9-6, but Pauwels won the next face-off and Manasquan was able to miss time.

The Warriors have major goals ahead of them, including the Shore Conference, State Division and Group 2 championship aspirations. First on the list is always to take care of business within their division, and victory on Wall does the heavy lifting.

The score of the box

No. 2 Manasquan 9, No. 4 Wall 6

Wall (2-1, 0-1) 0 1 2 4 — 6

Manasquan (2-0, 1-0) 5 2 2 0 — 9

OBJECTIVES — W: John McCurry 3, Matt Dollive 2, William Madden; M: Robert Pendergist 2, Matt Porazzo 2, James Farinacci 2, Blake Gorski 2, Niland DiLuchio.

SUPPORT — M: Robert Pendergist, Matt Porazzo, James Farinacci, Blake Gorski.

SAVE — W: Aidan Kessler 6; M: Carter Groezinger 1, Nick Bounassi 5.

BLOWS: 23-23

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