Timber Creek tops Triton in first boys' lacrosse game for both

Timber Creek's Justin Kolb (center) celebrates his goal with teammate Austin Reynolds as Triton's Oscar Marin looks on. The 4th-quarter goal by Kolb put Timber Creek up, 15-9. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Somewhere there might be a 10-year-old kid bouncing a lacrosse ball off a wall in Erial who will set scoring records at Timber Creek.

Or somewhere there might be a 5-year-old in Sicklerville who hasn't yet discovered the sport who will outdo that older boy even better.

But neither of them will ever top Justin Kolb, at least in one regard.

Kolb always will be the first player to score seven goals in a game for Timber Creek and the athlete who sparked the Chargers to the program's inaugural victory.

Kolb made history, but everybody else on the field did, too, as Timber Creek beat Triton, 15-9, Wednesday in the first boys' lacrosse game for both schools.

"There's going to be teams after us for years and years," said Kolb, a sophomore attack who scored five of his goals in a stretch between the second and third quarters, when the Chargers turned a 5-5 tie into a 10-6 lead. "But we'll always be the first."

It was all about firsts on a sunny, breezy afternoon on Timber Creek's grass field.

First faceoff. First goal. First victory for the Chargers. First loss for the Mustangs.

"To score nine goals in this first game, it's pretty respectable," said Triton coach Ed McLaughlin, a veteran of start-up programs at Haddon Township and in the Lenape School District. "You build on it."

Triton got four goals from Joe Rubba and three from Ryan McNamee and some solid work from goalie Eric Sweeny. But the Mustangs were hurt by penalties, as the Chargers scored five goals with a man advantage.

"It's a contact sport, but the best players avoid contact," McLaughlin said. "We always say, 'Ball first, then body.' "

Chris Juliano and Nick Mirmanesh each scored two goals for Timber Creek and goalie Ryan Carr made nine saves. The Chargers showed good ball movement and balance, as seven players found the back of the net.

The first goal in district history was scored by Timber Creek senior Colin Smyers, a Chargers captain.

"It was great that a senior got the first one," Kolb said.

Timber Creek coach Kyle O'Donnell, who teaches at Triton, was proud of both teams' efforts in the debut of the sport in the Black Horse Pike District.

Highland, the third school in the district, also will feature a boys' team for the first time this spring, and all three schools are unveiling girls' teams as well.

"It was exciting and they had a ton of fun," O'Donnell said. "We're setting the bar, not necessarily for skill but for attitude, for work ethic, for communication."

Kolb is a skilled player with several seasons of experience in the Gloucester Township youth program. He played for the youth team last spring as a freshman.

"It was exciting to hear" the sport was coming to the district, Kolb said. "It's exciting to be at the start of something."

Triton 3 3 2 1 - 9

Timber Creek 2 7 4 2 - 15

Goals-T: Joe Rubba 4, Ryan McNamee 3, Dave Burns 2; TC: Justin Kolb 7, Chris Juliano 2, Nick Mirmanesh 2, Colin Smyers, Austin Reynolds, Marco DeCotis, Elyjah Oliveri.

Saves: T-Eric Sweeny 10; TC-Ryan Carr 9.