Jamboree provides girls both happy and sad times


By Mark Kitchin


By Mark Kitchin

MADISON– Shannon Sweeney was able to put on her goalie equipment, share some laughts with teammate Emily Rutland and stop some shots on her home field one last time. Her teammates and opponents had similar experiences during the Girls All-Star games played at the New Jersey Lacrosse Jamboree on Sunday.

There were two girls High School Senior All-Star Games, two boys Senior All-Star Games and a slew of youth games during the all-day celebration of lacrosse at Madison High School featuring some of the best scholastic players in the state. Sweeney’s team the Spartans were able to outlast the Green-clad Gladiators 11-9 in overtime. In an earlier game, the Titans defeated the Vikings 14-8.

Sweeney, who will be attending Wagner College in the fall, was also one of the recipients of the Lacrosse chapter’s “Spirit of Lacrosse” award. In many ways she felt Sunday’s game had both happy and sad aspects to it.

Madison’s Shannon Sweeney readies to make a save during Sunday’s Lacrosse Jamboree.

“Its kind of sad but I got to play with some of the people with and against some of the people I used to play with in the summer and in high school one more time,’’ Sweeney said. “It was strange because we had to learn everyone’s games and everyone’s strengths and weaknesses in a little over a half an hour but it was fun meeting new people from around the state who play lacrosse.’’

Sweeney has been involved in some of these Jamborees in the past. Hosting the one-day event has become almost a tradition in Madison and her father Mark Sweeney, the boys varsity lacrosse coach at Madison, is often busy running the event like he was on Sunday. So Shannon Sweeney is very much aware of the symbolism and importance of the event.

“My parents were pretty excited when I was chosen by my coach. My dad was here to support me.’’ Sweeney said. “It’s going to be sad because I’ve had some great memories playing for Madison on this field. It’s bittersweet but I’m happy to be going on to the next chapter of my life.’’

Morris Countywas well represented in both games. Sweeney and Rutland both competed in the event as well as Pequannock attacker Kelsey Dudgeon. The Spartans were coached byMadison’s Meghan Anderson and Pequannock’s Lindsay Lafferman.

Mountain Lakes goalkeeper Carly Gniewek jokes with a teammate, probably Lakers defender Gretchen Boemcke, on Sunday.

Several Mountain Lakes players represented Morris Countyon the Gladiators. Carly Gniewek spent much of the time in goal for the Green team and made some solid saves. Defender Gretchen Boehmcke defended right next to her while midfielder Grace Newfrock was also on hand.

The Spartans rallied from scores of 5-2 and 7-4 to tie the game with the help of Bridgewater’s Kelly Fenton (four goals) and Hillsborough’s Gianna Minutillo (two goals, two assists).

It was a goal by Kitty Dawson of Hillsborough from the Spartans which tied the game 8-8 and send it into overtime. The four-minute overtime period was not sudden death. Goals by Bridgewater-Raritan’s Kelly Fenton and Minutillo of Hillsborough sealed the deal for the Spartans. Kate Gibson of the Princeton Day School connected in overtime for the Gladiators.

Titans 14, Vikings 8

She wasn’t listed in the program and she wouldn’t have played if it wasn’t for a late phone call, but wherever Nicole Graziano brings her stick, goals are soon to follow. The Mendham standout scored five goals in all to lead the Titans to victory.

“I really didn’t know too much about it,’’Graziano said. “I was called up the day before last. … It’s kind of a pick up game but there were a lot of good players on the field. It was easy to go in and start playing.’’

Graziano, who is University of Florida bound, said the ending of her season and high school career in an amazing four overtime loss to Moorestown in the Group III final is still a little devastating, but the Jamboree contest did take a little bit of the sting out of it. It was much better to end her high school career among friends including Mendham teammate Morgan Holleran with a winning effort.

Morris Knolls’ Jen Perry scored two goals and her Golden Eagles teammates Kayla Delgado, Christina Vittorio and Shannon Fisher also competed in the event. Roxbury was also well represented with Kellie Kucinski, Jamie Eichvalds, Allie Tedesco and Courtney Wolfson taking part.

Morris Knolls’ Amy Richter and Roxbury’s Kevin Bewalder served as coaches.

Mount Olive and West Morris represented Morris Countyon the Vikings squad.

West Morris’ Liz McCarty scored two goals. Amy Ernst, Carly Shello, Liz McCarty and goalkeeper Chrissy Baffuto also saw action for West Morris.

Marauders midfielders Gina Massoni and Samantha Tilson played for the Vikings and Mount Olive Coach Vivianne Thomas served as one of the coaches.


About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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