Hight­stown drops heart­breaker to Mon­roe in state play­offs

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Joe O’Gor­man jo­gor­man@tren­to­nian.com @j_o­gor­man819 on Twit­ter

MON­ROE » Lacrosse has been a part of Abby Agostino’s life for over 10 years and this Hight­stown team has be­come a part of her fam­ily.

So, Agostino and the other se­niors weren’t go­ing to let the sea­son end with­out a fight.

The No. 5 seeded Rams bat­tled right down to the fi­nal sec­ond be­fore fall­ing to No. 4 Mon­roe, 11-10 on a dreary Thurs­day after­noon on the Fal­cons turf in an NJSIAA Cen­tral Jersey Group IV quar­ter­fi­nal game.

The Rams end the sea­son with an 11-8 record and they were a team that was pos­si­bly play­ing its best lacrosse at the right time of the year.

A good record, play­ing hard and be­ing close, though, doesn’t ease the pain of a sea­son-end­ing de­feat.

“This is a re­ally hard mo­ment for me,” said Agostino. “We wanted this game more than any­thing and it’s re­ally up­set­ting. Over­all, though we grew so much as a team and we are so much bet­ter than we were last year. There’s a great bond that we all have this sea­son we were like a fam­ily.”

Agostino will be head­ing to West Ch­ester next sea­son and although she might not play for the Divi­sion II team she’ll play club as she’s not ready to put away the stick and mask, just yet

Mon­roe (16-5), which will meet No. 1 Prince­ton (18-5 over South Brunswick) in the semi­fi­nals, av­er­ages 13.1 goals and game and came out fir­ing on all cylin­ders tak­ing an 8-4 half­time lead.

The Rams spot­ted them the first goal of the sec­ond half just 14 sec­onds in, but then it was Hight­stown tak­ing con­trol. An Agostino spin­ning goal made it 10-9 with 17:55 left in the game.

The two teams traded goals the rest of the way with Mon­roe’s goalie Ju­lianne Palmer mak­ing a pair of key saves late to keep them in front.

Agostino, who scored 91 career goals, led the way scor­ing four goals, Lizzy Bar­rett, Carly Haug and Jackie Mat­son all had two goals. Haug and Hai­ley Cam­marata had as­sists. Nina Ma­son was solid in the cage with 12 saves.

Paige Grandy led the Fal­cons with six, Liz Sko­belev had a hat trick with 73-goal scorer Ash­ley Pat­ten and Ka­ley Bat­toglia each get­ting one. Pat­ten had three as­sists and Gandy one. Palmer had 10 saves for Mon­roe.

“I’m up­set with a one­goal lost, but all the credit to Mon­roe,” said Erin Scheno, the Rams first-year coach. “We played our hearts out. I told the girls that they have raised the bar for Hight­stown lacrosse. Peo­ple used to look at us as an easy win and now they know we are a team that won our divi­sion and came to the quar­ter­fi­nal round of the states.”

Agostino scored with four sec­onds left and the Rams got the en­su­ing draw, but time ran out be­fore they could get a shot on the cage.

Time might’ve run out on the sea­son just not on the memories, the friend­ships and Agostino’s de­sire to con­tinue to play the game.

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