ML girls win Group I title; Mendham gives Moorestown fits

Morriscountylacrosse

WEST LONG BRANCH — Rachel Treweeke scored four goals and Mountain Lakes earned a measure of revenge in a 12-10 victory over Oak Knoll in the Group I final held at Kessler Field on the campus of Monmouth University on Saturday.

Victoria Kalamaras had a two goals and an assist and Jackie Perry scored twice for the Lakers (24-1). Nicole Kalamaras, Meredith Newfrock and Grainger Rosati also added goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Krupnick also had a brilliant outing with eight saves.

Ali Baiocco had four goals for the Royals (16-7). It was Oak Knoll that ousted Mountain Lakes in last year’s Group I final, 10-9. The Lakers have long and very vivid memories of that bitter defeat and were anxious for revenge.

The Mountain Lakes victory was sweet but it took the team awhile to get going. The players seemed a trifle nervous in the opening minutes. They trailed 4-1 at one point and were forced to call a timeout to regroup.

“It feels great,” Perry said. “We knew exactly how it felt like (last year) and it stinks to lose. We’ve had this game circled on our calendar since this day last year. It feels so great to come back and win.”

Mountain Lakes had a hero in Treweeke, an occasional scorer who seems to sense the exact moment the Lakers need her to contribute on offense. She triggered a comeback by scoring three of her team’s next four goals. Her score off a Meredith Newfrock feed with 9:07 left gave the Lakers a 5-4 advantage. Scores by Perry and Nicole Kalamaras gave Mountain Lakes a 3-goal advantage late in the half but a goal by Baiocco with four seconds left created a 7-5 halftime score.

Oak Knoll rallied to tie the game twice in the second half, but Mountain Lakes always had the answer. With about eight minutes left and the contest tied at 9-all, the Royals began to pressure and double the ball but the Lakers were ready.

Brilliant dodges by Rosati and Perry created unassisted goals. Rosati’s at 7:10 and Perry at 3:18 made it an 11-9 contest. An Oak Knoll score by Morgan Ryan at 1:50 gave the Royals hope, but Mountain Lakes won the draw and Hannah Cronk converted a Victoria Kalamaras feed to seal the victory and set up a date with Summit in the semifinals to be played at Hunterdon Central. Lenape and defending champion Moorestown will play in the other semifinal.

Moorestown 6, Mendham 5

Brilliant performances by the Minutemen nearly pulled off the upset of the tournament in the Group III final also held at Monmouth University’s Kessler Field. Moorestown (24-0) prevailed to earn its 21st state title and added another notch in their three-year win streak that stands at 75 games but they were seriously tested throughout the contest by a focused and determined Mendham team.

“We came out here knowing that we could win,” Mendham coach Lauren Yee said. “That was the difference. We fully believed that we hit our stride and we knew that we were capable of taking this. We were relaxed, we were composed and we were confident.”

The Minutemen played terrific defense and received a fine performance by junior goalie Julianna Durso (eight saves) On offense they were patient, focused and worked with a purpose.

Becky Gohsler and Christine Graziano scored two goals apiece and Christine Long added a goal for Mendham (13-7).

The Minutemen had leads of 2-1 and 4-3 but a scored by Moorestown’s Marie McCool with 6.9 seconds left tied the game at 4-4 at the half.

The Quakers jumped out to a 6-4 advantage with 8:53 left, but after a timeout, Mendham regrouped and Graziano notched an unassisted goal with 7:45 left.

Mendham had five separate scoring opportunities in the final minutes but couldn’t get the ball past Moorestown’s second-half keeper freshman Jess Goralski.

It was the best performance the Minutemen had put on against the Quakers since the remarkable 14-13 four-overtime defeat of 2011.

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About mcvbb

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

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