The day of rivalry match-ups between High School North and South’s lacrosse teams had a higher purpose. In what has become an annual tradition, all proceeds from T-shirt sales, raffles, and silent auctions during the April 12 games benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, which offers programs for injured veterans.
But those who came for a good lacrosse game as well as a good cause were not disappointed. After playing to a 6-6 tie in the first half, the North boys pulled ahead in the second half to defeat crosstown rival South 13-11.
North, which entered spring break at 4-3, is off to a winning start under new head coach Chris Petrone. No stranger to the North-South rivalry, Petrone is a 2004 North alumnus who played college lacrosse at Kean University and later coached at High School South. Last year he was the Knights’ junior varsity coach.
After falling to Montgomery, 17-5, in the opening game of the season, North came back with an 11-10 overtime victory over Notre Dame and won handily against Hightstown and Rancocas Valley.
Coming off an 18-7 loss to league rival Hopewell the day before, North jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first quarter against South. The Pirates came back and entered halftime tied at 6. But the Knights took a three-goal lead in the third quarter and held on for the win.
Junior Mike Bush, North’s leading scorer this season with 16 goals, led the way with three goals. Classmate Dan Bellezza also scored three to bring his season total to 12.
South senior Mike Domino and sophomore Luke Merrill each had three goals in the loss. Junior Jonathan Matthews, who leads the Pirates with 18 goals this year, scored two.
North defeated South 13-11 on April 12. Goals for North: Dan Bellezza 3; Jay Biletta 1; Joe Bryde 2; Mike Bush 3; Jarrett Luoma 1; Kyle Siegler 2; Yanni Stasinos 1. Goals for South: Jacob Arbeiter 1; Mike Domino 3; Will Feehan 2; Jonathan Matthews 2; Luke Merrill 3. Saves for North: Chris Kenkelen 9.
South (3-4): A 15-9 loss to Hopewell Valley on April 4. Goals: Feehan 1; Matthews 6; Merrill 2. Saves: Charles deAugustin 3.
An 18-5 loss to North Hunterdon on April 7. Goals: Domino 1; Feehan 3; Matthews 1. Saves: deAugustin 2.
A 10-6 win over Hightstown on April 10. Goals: Arbeiter 1; Domino 2; Feehan 3; Matthews 1; Merrill 2; John Mezzanotte 1.
An 11-10 win over North Burlington on April 15. Goals: Domino 6; Feehan 1; Matthews 2; Merrill 2. Saves: deAugustin 7.
North (4-3): An 8-5 win over Hightstown on April 4. Goals: Bellezza 2; Bryde 1; Bush 3; Stasinos 2. Saves: Olsson, 13.
An 8-2 loss to Randolph on April 5. Goals: Bush 1; Stasinos 1. Saves: Olsson 7.
A 16-2 win over Rancocas Valley on April 9. Goals: Bellezza 1; Biletta 3; Bush 3; Kade Laforge 2; Scott Mansfield 1; Siegler 1; Stasinos 5. Saves: Kenkelen 7.
An 18-7 loss to Hopewell on April 11. Goals: Bellezza, 2; Bryde, 1; Bush, 2; Stasinos, 2. Saves Kenkelen: 7.