Glen Rock boys lacrosse advances to first state sectional final
Panthers top Kinnelon 11-5 in semifinal; now will face defending champ Mountain Lakes
The Glen Rock High School Boys Lacrosse team is headed to the first state sectional final appearance in program history after defeating Kinnelon, 11-5, Wednesday afternoon at the GRHS Stadium field.
Sophomore twins John and Owen Corry each had three goals and juniors Thomas Consoli and Liam Horton had two apiece to lead a balanced Glen Rock attack as the Panthers, the No. 2 seed in the North Jersey, Group 1 bracket, advanced to face No. 1 seed Kinnelon, the defending Group 1 state champions. Kinnelon advanced to the final with a 10-4 victory over No. 4 seed Mahwah. The final will be played at Mountain Lakes on Saturday, at a time TBA.
“It’s definitely awesome,’’ second-year head coach Mike Escalante said of reaching the final. “I told the boys they were definitely the group (that would be the one) to take the next step.’’
Glen Rock (11-8) scored the game’s first four goals and led 4-1 at the end of the first quarter, and Escalante credited senior captain Trevor Douenias, the team’s primary faceoff man, with the fast start.
“Trevor set the tone,’’ Escalante said of Douenias, who will play at Division 3 Kings College, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., next season. “We were up 3-0 and 4-1 and barely had to play any defense.’’
Escalante said the team proved something to itself with its strong showing in the quarterfinals of the Bergen County Tournament against Ridgewood. The Panthers lost that game, 7-3, but earned great respect from observers for the way they competed against the eventual county champions. They probably proved something to themselves, too. And the Ridgewood game wasn’t the only tough game Glen Rock played. Escalante put together a challenging schedule for the Panthers, one that saw them play several road games against tough teams from outside of Bergen County, including an early season matchup against Summit, then the No. 2-ranked team in the state, according to nj.com.
And while Glen Rock took its lumps against the likes of Summit, Randolph, Roxbury and St. Peter’s Prep, Escalante said the brutal schedule helped make the Panthers a stronger team.
“For sure, definitely,’’ he said. “Part of the reason you play those teams is you want to prepare yourself for a postseason run. It was tough to be 2-4, but I told them to relax. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.’’
Escalante acknowledged that Mountain Lakes, 13-4 and ranked No. 13 in nj.com’s Top 20 in the state, “will be a tall task.’’ But he pointed to the composure Glen Rock showed in the Ridgewood game as evidence that the Panthers won’t be quaking in their cleats when they visit the Lakers on Saturday.
“I told the boys we have the tools to play with anybody,’’ Escalante said. “We just have to have the attitude.
“We’re there to win,’’ he continued. “We’re not just happy to be there on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend… even if we’ve never been there before.’’