Great season for Lenape Valley lacrosse
STANHOPE. Lenape Valley High School Coach Justin Meeth reflects on a season that saw exceptional student athlete leadership.
By Josh Lashley
Although Justin Meeth, the head coach for the Lenape Valley High School boy’s lacrosse program has a lot of great memories from this season.
The Patriots tallied an overall record of 11-7 and they were 5-2 in the New Jersey Interscholastic Lacrosse League Pooley Division.
“It's hard to pick just one game that stood out overall this year with how many close games we played this season, but two that stand out are our Pope John game and our Mahwah game in the (NJSIAA North Group 1 Sectional) State playoffs,’’ Meeth said. “The Pope John game was a big match-up for us. It was a quarterfinal County Tournament match-up with a lot riding on the game. Although we lost the game 7-5, we played our best lacrosse of the year and showed ourselves that we can compete with all schools in our area.
“The other game was our 9-4 win over Mahwah in the first round of States. This one sticks out because this was a team we knew little about and had never seen before. But these boys went out and controlled the entire game and showed our best lacrosse late in the year with these two contests.’’
Lenape Valley was defeated by Mahwah in the quarterfinal round of the North Group 1 Sectional Tournament.
A major reason for Lenape Valley success this spring was student athlete leadership.
“We had guys step up all over the field this season,’’ Meeth said. “The first guy that comes to mind is senior defender Drew Pickett. Not only did this guy step up as a leader on the field this season with his play, but he was a vocal leader on the field, in the huddle and in the locker room. Drew was a four-year starter for this team and demonstrated his leadership qualities all four years, but this season he stepped up and it was a positive impact on our team as a whole.
“The other guy who stepped up as another vocal leader was sophomore Drew Togno. Drew is a nightmare of a match-up for opposing teams and added his vocal side of it even more this season. He understands the game so well and used his IQ to our advantage this season.’’
Coach Meeth noted sophomore defender Trey Stasse is among this year's most improved athletes.
“Trey impressed in every aspect of the game,’’ Meeth said. “The combo of his one-on-one defense and the understanding of team defense made him one of the most dangerous threats on the field every time we took the field this season. I really cannot say enough about this guy and how much damage he’s going to do these next two years.’’
The Patriots hope to be a force in 2020.
“Although we do graduate nine seniors where we saw contributions come from every single one of them, we have all the optimism in the world for next year,’’ Meeth said. “We return over half of our starting line-up and most of those guys have already been key factors in our game play.
“Some accomplishments made by the team this year-Drew Togno scored his 100th goal of his career and passed 150 career points for his career. Dominick Falleni leaves the program with 264 career points (most in program history) and the program notched its 100th program win with our win over Voorhees late in the season.’’