Knights team gets that important first victory

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

On the heels of its first win Tuesday, Old Bridge High School lacrosse coach Bob Pense is looking for a strong finish from his team.

Taylor Bonner scored six goals, and Mike Dobiez and Steve Johnson each scored a pair of goals to lead the Knights to an 11-5 triumph over Edison. Jon Santos made 12 saves in net to secure the victory, after Old Bridge opened the campaign with six straight losses.

"It’s a big win for us because it gets the monkey off our back," Pense said. "This really is a much better team than the record shows, and we’re looking to bounce back. Our aim is to qualify for the state tournament."

The coach acknowledged that his team has some catching up to do in order to reach the states, but Pense said he is confident in his players. The Knights will look for their second win this afternoon at West Windsor North, and will visit Freehold Township on Saturday.

Old Bridge clearly has some offensive ability with Bonner, a junior, leading the attack with 22 goals. Dobiez, Bill Sims, and juniors Maynard Brook and Dave Reiter are the Knights’ other attackers, and all can put the ball in the net.

Johnson anchors the middle along with junior John Hornlein. Tumer Mady, juniors Jim Phillips and Dan Turner, and sophomore Peter Sims are the other midfielders.

The veteran Old Bridge defense includes seniors Mike Donnelly, Chris Rakowsky and Jason Rodriguez, along with sophomore Peter Dobek and freshman Carmine Coppolla. Sophomore Warren Biggs in goal backs up Santos.

Pense also noted that the future looks bright for his team, as 92 players showed up for tryouts, including 30 freshmen.

However, Pense did lament the lack of a freshmen team, which he noted is a key to developing a successful program. Pense and JV coach Guy Lassen did not make any cuts, so they’re working together to help the younger players hone their skills at practice sessions.

"We’re doing the best we can, but without a freshman team, there’s nowhere for them to get game experience," Pense said.