WindMill Boys Lacrosse Team of the Week: Manasquan
Every week this spring, WindMill Restaurants and Shore Sports Network will be selecting a Boys Lacrosse Team of the Week based on its performance over the past week.
The WindMill Team of the Week for Week 6 (May 6-May 12) is Manasquan, which won its third consecutive Shore Conference Tournament title with a 12-7 victory over Christian Brothers Academy. Shore Sports Network stopped by practice Monday to present the Warriors and head coach Sean Cunningham with a special certificate and a $300 WindMill gift card.
At Monmouth University’s Kessler Stadium on Saturday, May 11, Manasquan used a seven-goal run that spanned the second and third quarters to pull away from CBA on the way to a five-goal victory that secured the SCT championship. Senior attackman Canyon Birch scored five goals and dished out two assists, senior midfielder James Pendergist banked three goals and two assists and senior goalie Mike LaPoint made eight saves to lead the way. Sophomore attackman Casey Mulligan added two goals, senior midfielder Riley Callahan and freshman midfielder Robert Pendergist each scored once and senior attackman Ryan Anderson chipped in with three assists.
Manasquan jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by the Pendergist brothers, but CBA battled back to eventually tie the game at four early in the second quarter. From there, the Warriors’ defense buckled down to allow just four shots over the next 23 minutes and give the offense the possessions to pump in seven straight goals and effectively put the game away heading into the fourth quarter.
The win pushed Manasquan’s undefeated record to 17-0 and elevated the Warriors into rarified air, joining CBA (4) and Rumson-Fair Haven (6) as the only programs to win three or more SCT championships.
Manasquan cruised to victory in the first two rounds of the SCT, defeating 16th-seeded Toms River North, 16-0, in the first round and then beating No. 8 Howell, 18-4, in the quarterfinals.
The SCT semifinals matched them up with a familiar foe: Rumson. The two teams met during the regular season with Manasquan winning, 13-2, and while the end result this time was another 10-goal win, the process was much different. Manasquan battled through a total of eight minutes of penalties in the first quarter, including five minutes of non-releasable time that had standout defenseman Tommy Shaughnessy out of the game. The Warriors’ 2-0 lead was erased as Rumson grabbed a 3-2 lead with 50 seconds to go, but a swift response in the form of goals by Mulligan and Anderson in the final 16 seconds of the opening quarter gave Manasquan a 4-3 lead.
From the time Rumson took its one-goal lead, Manasquan scored 11 straight goals on its way to a 14-4 victory that sent them to the championship game for the fourth straight season.
With a third SCT title in hand, Manasquan now turns its attention to the state tournament. The Warriors are the No. 1 seed in the South, Group 1 section where they will look to win their third state sectional title in the last four years and try to claim the program’s first group state championship.