Boys Lacrosse: Wall showcases its diverse skill set in season-opening win over Red Bank Catholic
RED BANK -- Over the past few seasons, Wall's boys lacrosse team has proven it is right there with the elite programs in the Shore Conference. All that's left to do is win a championship.
That quest for a title will play out over the next 10 weeks, and it began with an emphatic victory on Monday afternoon to jump-start the 2023 season.
Senior attackman John McCurry fired in five goals and assisted on five others and junior goalie Lucas Seelinger made 12 saves to backstop a sturdy defensive effort that powered the Crimson Knights to a 16-5 victory over Red Bank Catholic in a Shore Conference nondivisional game at Count Basie Park.
Junior attackman Jack Meyer added three goals and two assists, junior midfielder Will Madden had two goals and one assist, and senior midfielder Pat Donohue and junior midfielder Shea Brennan each scored twice. Senior midfielder Connor Moore and sophomore FOGO Michael Hoarle each scored once. Hoarle also had a strong game at the face-off X winning over 60 percent of the draws.
Senior midfielder Sam Fertal scored twice, junior attackman Peter Villare and junior midfielder Jackson Lu had a goal and an assist each, and senior midfielder Torin Harmon scored once for RBC. Senior goalie Christian Schraeder made 18 saves.
Villare gave RBC a quick 1-0 lead in the first 30 seconds, but Wall answered immediately to take control of the game for good. McCurry scored an unassisted goal to tie the score 1-1 and was walloped as he released the shot, drawing a flag. The resulting penalty was a two-minute, non-releasable penalty for unnecessary roughness to give Wall an extra-man opportunity. Donohue and McCurry each had goals during the EMO to give Wall a 3-1 lead and the Crimson Knights kept their feet on the gas from there, pushing the lead to 8-3 at halftime and 11-5 heading to the fourth quarter.
"I thought it was a good start," said McCurry, the Navy-bound attackman who tied for the Shore Conference lead in points last season with RBC's Torin Harmon. "We're getting better every day. Overall, we got everyone in and played well."
The aforementioned Harmon, a High Point University signee, led the Shore in goals last season with 63 and tied McCurry for the scoring title with 110 points. Wall's defense was able to hold Harmon to only one goal with senior LSM Dominick Giglio, a Monmouth University commit, drawing the defensive assignment most of the time. It was an encouraging performance against a talented offense for a Wall defense that does boast All-Shore standouts in Glgio and senior Billy Carr but is also working in some fresh starters.
"There's a little rust to knock off but obviously not a bad start with an 11-goal win," said Carr, who is signed to play for the University of Denver. "I love the new pieces (on defense). Lucas was great in goal and Justin (freshman Justin Davis) and Mackie (junior LSM/D Nick Mackie) were great helps on defense. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come."
Early in the second quarter, McCurry scored his third goal unassisted and then set up Meyer for a man-down goal to put Wall up 5-1. Madden scored off another assist from McCurry at 8:11 before RBC broke the six-goal run with a goal by Fertal. The Crimson Knights answered on goals by McCurry and Donohue to make it 8-2 and RBC got one back when Harmon scored off a setup from Lu for a man-up goal with 3:45 left in the first half.
Wall's lead continued to grow in the third quarter. Meyer and Fertal traded goals during the first six minutes of the second half and then Brennan and Meyer scored in a span of 13 seconds to give Wall an 11-4 lead. RBC was able to end the quarter on a high note when Lu skipped a shot past Seelinger with one second on the clock.,
McCurry drew a penalty in the first minute of the fourth quarter and Wall's dangerous man-up unit went to work with Brennan scoring unassisted for a 12-5 lead. The goals kept coming with McCurry netting his fifth at the 8:00 mark and Madden, Hoarle, and Moore then scoring consecutive goals in a span of 1:02. Paired with Hoarle's work a the face-of X, the defense and Seelinger did the rest to close the door on win No. 1 of the 2023 season.
More challenges will come for Wall in the form of a grueling schedule that includes division foe and archrival Manasquan, a nondivisional showdown with Southern Regional, and non-conference games versus Bergen Catholic, Ridgewood, Westfield, Shawnee, St. Joseph (Metuchen), and Bridgewater-Raritan. That gauntlet is designed to prepare the Knights for the postseason. Their aspirations are clear.
"This season is about finishing the job," McCurry said. "It's senior year and the goal is to win Shore Conference and states."
"It's exciting," Carr said. "We want to leave our stamp on the program and hopefully we can do that and become the most successful team Wall's head, winning Shore Conference and states."
Boys Lacrosse: Wall vs. Red Bank Catholic
Wall 16, Red Bank Catholic 5
RED BANK CATHOLIC