Lacrosse: Southern Regional plays Ridge tonight for state Group IV boys title
Southern Regional High School senior Tyler Lipositz is quick to mention something written on a banner in the school's gym.
"It's amazing how much you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit," Lipositz said.
His unselfish play is a big reason why the Rams will play Ridge High School at 7:30 tonight at neutral site Somerville High School (Somerset County) for the state Group IV lacrosse championship.
Much of the talk surrounding the Rams this postseason has been about the play of Brendan Mullen and Dylan Jinks - and for good reason.
Mullen (52 goals this season) has scored 19 goals in the team's four postseason wins. Jinks (team-high 53 goals) has 12 goals and nine assists as the Rams have outscored their postseason opponents by a combined score of 59-17.
But Lipositz has been the maestro.
The senior has 15 assists this postseason and a team-high 53 this season.
Lipositz can score (he also has 28 goals) but prefers to think pass first.
"I have always been more of an assist man," the 17-year-old Manahawkin resident said. "I used to play basketball and I was the same way. I have better field vision than I do trying to get to the net."
Southern coach John Pampalone said it's hard to overstate what Lipositz means to the Rams.
"Tyler takes as much joy in getting an assist as he does in getting a goal and that sets the tone," Pampalone said. "We're an extremely unselfish team and that all starts with Tyler."
Jinks (33 assists) and Mullen (20) have no problem passing as well.
Al Manzo (41 goals and 11 assists) and Shawn McManus (31 and 31) give the team plenty of depth.
John Starner and Nick Hem have been stellar controlling ground balls in the defensive midfield controlling ground balls.
Billy Dowd is the team's faceoff specialist and one of the best in South Jersey with a .797 percentage (306-of-384).
Sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Lefanto has a .693 save percentage this season.
Despite having all that talent, Southern will still be the underdog tonight against North Jersey Group IV champ Ridge, which is in Basking Ridge in Somerset County.
Ridge is ranked 49th in the country, according to LAXPower.com. Southern is No. 203 among the 3,445 schools ranked nationally.
Ridge has seven players committed to play NCAA Division I lacrosse next season, led by Owen Molloy (Notre Dame) and Eric Scott (Yale).
But Southern isn't just going to hand over the trophy.
"It's going to be a challenge," Pampalone said. "But when you get to this point and there are only 12 teams left (in the state), everybody is good."
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