By Mark Kitchin
The 11th-seeded Morristown Colonials were the only surprise in last week’s opening round of the Girls Lacrosse Morris County Tournament. Can they continue their Cinderella run? It’s tough to play lacrosse with glass slippers on but anything is possible as the tournament enters into its quarterfinal round on Saturday.Madison atMountainLakes is a 10 a.m. start, Morris Knolls at West Morris is 11 a.m.,Morristown at Chatham is scheduled for 1 p.m. and Kinnelon at Mendham is a 3 p.m. contest.
Here’s a brief look at the four quarterfinal round contests.
Morristown at Chatham – The Colonials vanquished cross-town rival Villa Walsh 6-4 last week in opening round play. The Colonials got a strong performance fromUniversity ofCalifornia bound Kai Murphy (18 saves) and Emily Goss in its triumph. The Colonials will have to continue their stellar performances if they don’t want to get stuck with the pumpkin.Chatham is coming off a 12-11 test fromWest Essex on Thursday. The Cougars have a variety of weapons; the most dangerous is Jaclyn Leto. Leto is having a year. She has nearly 50 goals and 20 assists and is among the leaders in the state in ground balls. Kallan Murray, Kelsey Perselay, Lindsey Ford, Cat McCutcheon, Liz Hyde and goalkeeper Hannah Reader are experienced performers that have proven that they can work well together.
Madison at Mountain Lakes – The Lakers are coming in off a 13-5 loss toGlen Ridge but there is a little payback in order. It was the Dodgers that ended the Lakers season in state tournament play last year. Megan Ryan, Casey Drollinger, Hallie Walker, Ingrid Hermanson and Grace Newfrock have long memories. Carly Gniewek mans the net for the Lakers (4-4).Madison is 4-7 but after a tough start has been playing much better. They have strength on the draw with Alli Helwig and Emily Rutland who are both essential in triggering their offense. The defense is young but talented and Shannon Sweeney is tough in the net.
Kinnelon at Mendham – The Minutemen had little trouble routingMountOlive in opening round play. They have an efficient offense with University of Florida bound Nicole Graziano, Aly Messinger and Morgan Holleran among the capable scorers. The Minutemen are coming off a 20-6 romp over Columbia early in the week. Having all that offense certainly helps a young defense. Kinnelon toppled Montville 12-8 for the honor of battling Mendham. The Colts will have to win possessions and get the ball to Virginia and Heidi Annaheim and Cara Crampton in positions to score in order to have their chance. A good performance by the defense and goalie Carly Cavagnaro will help, too.
Morris Knolls at West Morris – The 4-5 game is always the toughest in the quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles and Wolfpack both have talented, capable players. After a slow start, the Wolfpack has been performing much better. They dominated rival Roxbury in opening round action. West Morris doesn’t mind close games. They have one-goal wins against IHA and Madison. Emily Delaney, Megan Monaco and Carly Shello are indefatigable athletes. Maggie Underdahl and goalkeeper Chrissy Baffuto sure up the West Morris defense. The Golden Eagles are 8-1. Morris Knolls dominatedRandolph 18-4 to advance to the quarterfinals. Jennifer Perry, Camille Rosellini, Amanda Black, Shana Gillmore and goalkeeper Kayla Delgado are counted on to make plays for the fifth-seeded team.