WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Seton Hall Prep lacrosse team had a great week, going 2-1 to raise their record to 13-3 on the season.
On Tuesday, May 10, the No. 1 seeded Pirates traveled to Travis Field on the campus of West Essex High School in North Caldwell to take on No. 2 seed West Essex in the championship game of the 18th Essex County Tournament. The Pirates defeated the Knights, 9-6, in a very exciting game. In the first quarter, sophomore Christian Schweiger scored an unassisted goal, and senior Matt Wrede scored on an assist by senior James Bailey with just :31 left; the score was 2-2 at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, the Pirates outscored West Essex 3-1 to take a 5-3 halftime lead. Schweiger, Wrede and senior Max Racich scored, with Wrede dishing out two assists. West Essex outscored the Pirates 3-0 in the third quarter to take a 6-5 lead going into the fourth quarter. Seton Hall stepped on the gas and tightened up the defense, shutting out West Essex 4-0 to make the final 9-6, giving them their 12th Essex County Tournament Title. Junior Aidan Donovan sparked the Pirates coming off the bench to score two goals and one assist. Racich and Schweiger also scored, while Wrede had two more assists. The Pirates outshot West Essex 42-24, and senior goalie John “Jaz” Zanelli had nine saves.
Following the game, Donovan said, “It feels great to have gotten the opportunity to play today.”
Wrede added, “We never take winning these (county championship games) for granted. They were playing on their home field, which gave them a lot of energy, but we stuck to our game plan.”
Third-year head coach Ross Turco said, “I think it is important to embrace and appreciate challenging games where your guys are tested from start to finish. West Essex has a terrific team, but we got back to fundamentals defensively and got the job done.”
On Thursday, May 12, the Pirates traveled to New Rochelle, N.Y., to go up against nationally ranked Iona Prep. The Pirates defeated the Gaels 7-6, with Bailey scoring with :01.6 left in the fourth quarter on an assist by junior Matt Pepe. Iona Prep led the Pirates 3-2 after one quarter. Racich scored on an assist by senior Quinn Spillett, and Spillett scored on an assist by Pepe. In the second quarter, the Pirates outscored the Gaels 4-2, to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. Wrede scored two goals; Bailey and senior Will Rose also scored. Spillett and Schweiger had assists in the quarter. Iona Prep scored with 7:48 left in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 6-6 until Bailey scored the game winner.
When asked about scoring the game winner, Bailey said, “It was a lot of fun. Everybody dreams about scoring the game-winning goal, and today it was me.”
On Saturday, May 14, the Pirates hosted another nationally ranked team, Malvern Prep from Malvern, Pa., at Brendan P. Tevlin Memorial Field. Malvern won the game, 7-6, when they scored with :07 left in the first overtime period. Racich scored four goals with one assist, while Spillett and senior JP Meyo also scored a goal each. Wrede had two assists, while Schweiger had one assist. Senior Will Giarrusso won eight of 16 faceoffs. Zanelli had six saves.
Photos Courtesy of Rich Morris/SHP