Old Bridge High School began its boys’ lacrosse season with a flourish on March 27 at home.
The Knights welcomed Holy Cross Preparatory Academy and then, just a few minutes into the game, made the Lancers yearn for the buses to pull back up already for the return trip to Delran.
Old Bridge blitzed Holy Cross’s net, scored a barrage of early goals and took an insurmountable lead into halftime. The final score of 15-4 was merely a formality.
In their dominant victory, the Knights showcased their best selves. Offensive leaders Bryson Corbett and Justin Fox, who each connected on three goals, led the attack while eight other players scored, too.
Now that it has started its season in peak form, Old Bridge hopes to come full circle this spring. The Knights fell in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament’s semifinals last year, 7-5 to Monroe Township High School.
They don’t just want to be Knights this season. They want to be kings…of the GMC.
“Big season,” said Corbett and Fox at the exact same time on March 27, even before they beat Holy Cross.
“We expect to go far,” Corbett added.
“Everybody’s back,” added Fox.
Old Bridge’s best and most experienced returner is goaltender Andrew Cherry, a senior who is committed to play Division 1 lacrosse at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Cherry made 233 saves last year, an average of 13.7 per game. He was often compensating for a young team that had trouble holding possession.
But as the season went on, the goalie’s stability made his teammates more confident. They knew Cherry would keep them in games, and they played more aggressively as a result. In the second half of the season, the Knights scored double digit goals in all of their victories.
Cherry should have a similar effect this spring.
“Having our goalie make big saves brings up the energy of the team,” Fox said. “And the level of everyone’s play.”
“Our last line of defense is strong,” Corbett added.
Cherry strongly disagrees with his teammates. The senior doesn’t even think he’s that good of a goalie.
“I didn’t do well enough last year,” Cherry said. “I could have done a lot better.”
The goalie looked at his teammates after saying that, and couldn’t quite keep a straight face. He smirked and chuckled, and they did the same thing back.
But there was truth behind what the senior was saying. He wants to be even better in 2019. And with a more confident, experienced team in front of him, he is definitely in line for a better campaign.
Corbett, Fox and their field mates controlled the ball on March 27. They charged down the field, zipped passes to each other and dodged defenders en route to the cage. Even when the Lancers took possession, Old Bridge’s defenders poked the ball away and scooped it up, preventing close range shots.
The Knights looked like a complete team. Now the challenge is becoming one on a game to game, week to week basis. Even though it nearly won the GMC last year, Old Bridge still finished only 7-10.
There were blowout victories, but also losing streaks. And this year, after that dominant victory in their season opener, the Knights dropped their second game, 17-2, to Summit High School on March 30.
But Old Bridge’s coach, Andrew Borriello, is still confident that his team can become consistent this spring.
“We have talent and they’ve worked hard all offseason,” Borriello said.