Bridgewater-Raritan eyes Group 4 crown
GROUP 4 LACROSSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
At Somerville High, 7:30
BRIDGEWATER-RARITAN (18-0) VS. HUNTERDON CENTRAL (18-2)
SEEDS: B-R 1, HC 3
MSG VARSITY POWER RANKING: B-R 1, HC 4
TITLE CHASE: Bridgewater seeks its fourth group crown, Hunterdon Central its fifth.
TRENDS: Bridgewater has state's longest winning streak at 33 games. Hunterdon Central has won 11 straight games.
LAST LOSS FOR B-R: A 6-5 overtime loss to Hunterdon Central April 23, 2011. Current senior Blake Searfoss sank the game-winner when he picked up a ground ball in the crease and jammed it in from the doorstep. Searfoss also had two assists that game and current senior Jake Andersen finished with 14 saves.
BUT…Bridgewater avenged that loss some five weeks later by beating the Red Devils, 9-6, in the Group 4 championship game. Current senior Ray Matroianni led the way for the Panthers with four goals while Scott Bieda and John Longordo (also currently seniors) each had two.
LAST MEETING: Bridgewater won, 10-4, on April 25 behind the three-goal efforts of seniors Ryan Hollingsworth and John Longordo and nine saves from classmate Zach Jones. Defenders Evan Mock, Connor Murphy, Andrew Hengenmuhle and Jared Kaden helped hold the Red Devils to a season-low four goals.
NUMBERS: Bridgewater averages 13.7 gpg and allows 3.6. Hunterdon Central averages 11.1 gpg and allows 4.9.
MORE NUMBERS: Bridgewater's defense had not allowed more than six goals in a game all season until Westfield reached the Panthers for 10 Saturday in the Group 4 semifinals, 17-10. But that fact could be more cause for concern for Hunterdon than Bridgewater. Expect the Panthers to have made small adjustments from that learning experience and be back on top of its game Wednesday.
Bridgewater: Scott Bieda, Sr. A (53 goals, 44 assists); Ryan Hollingsworth, Sr. A (46-31); Vince Colatriano, Sr. M (11 goals, faceoff); Ray Mastroianni, Sr. M (29-12); Evan Mock, Sr. D; Zach Jones, Sr. G; Connor Murphy, Sr. D; John Longordo, Sr. M (34-15); Jared Kaden, Jr. LSM; Andrew Hengenmuhle, Jr. D; Justin Higgins, Sr. A (22-22); Steve Danyluk, Sr. SSDM; Kyle Coulter, Sr. SSDM; Mike Serrante, Sr. M (17-5); Mike DiPascali, Sr. M (9-7).
Hunterdon Central: Blake Searfoss, Sr. A (19 goals, 68 assists); Zachary Schreck, Sr. M (33-21); Jake Andersen, Sr. G; Tyler Reasoner, Sr. M (Faceoff, SSDM); Stephen Puleo, Sr. D; Chris Sawyer, Sr. M (38-20); Shane Taggert, jr. D; Keegan Hickey, Jr. M (25-10); Brian Rickenbach, Sr. A (18-10); Paul Leonhauser, Sr. M (21-9); John Pipas, Sr. D; Nick Soriano, Sr. D; Patrick O'Donoghue, Sr. LSM; Mike Brown, Jr. D; Nick Tortoriello, Jr. M (21-11).
Mike Kinney covers boys lacrosse for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeKinneyHS