— NLF (@natlaxfed) May 11, 2023
To no one’s surprise, Shawn Lyght had a big smile on his face as he continued to expand on what this meant.
After Lyght and NLF No. 16 Seton Hall Prep came storming back to beat rival No. 24 Delbarton, 11-10, in overtime on the Green Wave’s field, the Leading Edge standout and four-star Notre Dame signee knew that the Pirates’ victory was much more than just another addition to the win column.
“Words don’t really express it,” Lyght said. “Hopefully, we see them again, but as seniors, that could be our last time playing Delbarton. To go out like that is just an incredible feeling. I know we had alumni back from the team last year and years past and it’s great to have them supporting us. This game is not just about who’s on the field in that game. It’s all the teams and people who have come before us. That’s why you come to Seton Hall. You come to Seton Hall for this rivalry. We know this is the rivalry of New Jersey. Everyone looks forward to it. You want to put on a good product for people to come watch and have fun while we do it.”
Best Rivalry in New Jersey
It was everything that you’d expect from the Garden State’s top rivalry. On a gorgeous day at Delbarton’s palatial campus, the dueling student sections made it loud. Like, LOUD in warmups loud. It’s clear that there’s no love lost between the two schools, and that leads to a special environment.
So does a game that goes to overtime. Quinnipiac signee TJ Coffey‘s second goal of the game was an absolute missile on the run that stretched Delbarton’s lead to 10-8 with 7:56 to go. But Holy Cross junior commit Tyler Juhlin bagged his second of the game to cut the lead to one, and Seton Hall Prep tied it up when Luke Knezovic (Colgate) blasted a shot home with 1:07 to play. Junior Manhattan commit Adam Angel denied the Green Wave at the buzzer to set up overtime.
Juhlin got back to work. The lefty rolled out out of a double team and blasted out the top corner, giving Seton Hall Prep its fourth straight regular-season win over its rival.
“I took it to my left and I was trying to get a question mark, but they slid to me and I kind of got a little lucky. I swam it over the defenseman and shot it and I guess it went in,” Juhlin said. “It was definitely special. I’ve grown up watching this game every year, so to score this goal feels awesome. To do it for my school and my team just felt great. It’s probably the first time I’ve played in anything like this. It’s pretty nerve-wracking, but when I scored that first goal, it calmed me down and we settled in pretty well.”
Rematch on the Horizon
The two teams will be favored to meet again in the New Jersey Non-Public A tournament, which they did in 2021. Delbarton won that rematch, 7-6, after Seton Hall Prep hammered the Green Wave, 12-5, in the regular season. If a potential rematch is anything like the first game, you won’t want to miss it.
“It’s definitely a big one and we were looking forward to this one,” Melchionni said. “I feel like it was just a couple mental errors at the end of the game. … We’re going to see these guys again and we’re going to use this as fuel.”
Seton Hall Prep vs. Delbarton Standouts
Adam Angel ’24, goalie, Seton Hall Prep / Manhattan
Angel recorded the biggest win of his first season in the Pirates’ cage and did so in style. The lefty has a penchant for big-time saves, and he came up big with 10 denials of Green Wave shots. The biggest one was a buzzer-beater stop that enabled the Pirates to get to overtime, and then another one in the extra frame when Delbarton won the initial possession. Angel does an excellent job of taking away low shots with how he moves his feet and fluidly drops.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Angel said. “I’ve never been in a situation like that. I was pretty nervous about it, but I just tried to stay calm and play my game, no matter what.”
TJ Coffey ’23, midfield, Delbarton / Quinnipiac
Coffey is a towering 6-3, 190-pound middie whose shot matched his massive frame. He led the Green Wave with two fourth-quarter goals and an assist, and one of those goals was as picturesque as middie goals get. Coffey blasted a bardown bomb with an on-the-run screamer. His game has come a long way in the past two years and he looks much more comfortable with his imposing frame and cognizant of how he can change a game with it. He’s more than doubled his goal total from his junior year, and should break the 30-goal plateau out of the midfield.
Tyler Juhlin ’24, attack / midfield, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) / Holy Cross
A really slick lefty who seems to glide around the field, Juhlin scored the biggest goal of his Pirates career by spinning out of a double team and cranking a bomb under the crossbar. The future Crusader finished the day with a hat trick and two assists and was very active within the Pirates’ offensive sets. He got the scoring started by uncorking an overhand blast coming up the hash. Later, he helped Seton Hall Prep cut its deficit to one by hammering a high-to-high blast after sprinting out of the corner. Juhlin plays with good poise and handles the ball well under pressure. The lefty has deceptively good pop on his shot, and he also did a nice job of moving the ball, coming away with two assists.
Take a look at Seton Hall Prep and ask yourself, “which of these guys is going to the ACC?” Odds are, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. Lyght is every bit of his listed 6-3, 200 pounds, and it’s clear that he really committed himself to the weight room to prepare for his senior year. He’s impossible to get around because he takes one stride to account for every five that an attackman takes.
The Pirates had a defensive look where Lyght served as the rover in the middle of a zone, and, yeah, keep doing that. Good idea, guys. Let him cook. When Lyght got out in 1v1 coverage, Delbarton had absolutely zero desire to truly test him. He also bumped up to take a couple of faceoffs. Also a good basketball player, Lyght has the footwork, athleticism and desire to become a top-flight college defender in South Bend.
You really can’t do much more from the LSM spot than Melchionni did for the Green Wave. The ambidextrous pole caused a turnover near the midline in the game’s opening seconds and must have grabbed at least a half-dozen ground balls throughout the game. Melchionni usually handles ground balls and throws checks as a lefty and tends to shoot more as a righty. On his goal, though, he got to the front of the cage as a righty and casually changed hands in front to bury a lefty goal.
The future Wildcat is a terror in the middle of the field and you have to account for him on every possession. He has a tall frame that can easily handle more weight, so there’s a good chance that he may not have even come close to reaching his full potential. At the high school level, though, he’s a gamebreaker.
Seton Hall Prep 11, Delbarton 10
Seton Hall Prep
Tyler Juhlin ’24 (Holy Cross) 3 goals, 2 assists
Luke Knezovic ’24 (Colgate) 3 goals, 2 assists
Matthew Pepe ’23 (Bryant) 2 goals, 1 assist
Jordan Lugo ’23 (Merrimack) 1 goal, 1 assist
Michael Dunleavy ’23 (Leading Edge / UMBC) 1 goal
Brad Schuster ’24 (Utah) 1 goal
Christian Schweiger ’24 (Air Force) 1 assist
Adam Angel ’24 (Manhattan) 10 saves
TJ Coffey ’23 (Quinnipiac) 2 goals, 1 assist
Jack Sartorius ’24 (Leading Edge) 1 goal, 1 assist
Vincent Ferrara ’23 (Gettysburg) 1 goal, 1 assist
Jake Melchionni ’23 (Leading Edge / Villanova – NLF No. 41 ’23) 1 goal
Will Pedicano ’25 (Leading Edge / NLF ’25 five-star) 1 goal
Ryan Trafford ’24 (NLF No. 79 ’24) 1 goal
Sean Diczok ’24 1 goal
Jack Amato ’24 1 goal
Willie Doyle ’24 1 assist
Spencer Shea ’23 1 assist
Gray Doyle 1 assist
Aidan Troy ’23 (Penn) 4 saves
Charlie Medd ’23 (Williams) 2 saves