Mountain Lakes girls get their revenge

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountylacrosse

WEST LONG BRANCH — She might be considered Mountain Lakes’ secret weapon. However, Rachel Treweeke, the Lakers junior with a penchant for stepping up in big games, isn’t much of a secret anymore.

Treweeke scored four goals and helped rally Mountain Lakes to a 12-10 revenge 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. Mountain Lakes advances to play Summit in the Tournament of Champions semifinals on Wednesday at Hunterdon Central. Moorestown and Lenape also advanced to the T of C.

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.

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Rachel Treweeke scored four goals and gave Mountain Lakes a huge spark. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

The Mountain Lakes victory was sweet but it took the team awhile to get going. The Lakers trailed 4-1 at one point and were forced to call a timeout to regroup. It was at that point that Treweeke stepped up and scored three of the Lakers next four goals to get them back out in front at 5-4 midway through the first half.

“We were really nervous and this game was highly anticipated by us,” Perry said. “When she stepped up and went so hard, it helped all of us. It made us so much less nervous to know that she was there to push herself and push the rest of the team.”

Treweeke knew that the Lakers needed to get something going or else the game could unravel in a hurry.

“Coach called a time out and told us to go for it,” Treweeke said. “We were kind of hesitant in the offensive end at first. She told us to keep going to goal because they were getting goals at every possession. So we had to step up and we did.”

Treweeke started exhibiting a new found confidence after scoring three goals in Mountain Lakes’ Morris County Tournament victory over Chatham in the championship game. Treweeke doesn’t quite know how or why she knows when to step up at the proper times. She’s just happy she can help when it looks like the team needs her.

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A happy group of Lakers celebrate winning the Group I title. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

“I just saw the opening in the net and I went for it,” Treweeke said. “I knew we needed the goals and I just went ahead and did it.”

After the timeout, Treweeke burst to the cage for an unassisted score with 14:38 remaining to make it 4-2. It would be five minutes before the Lakers scored again but the momentum of the game was turning. Victoria Kalamaras had an unassisted score at 9:57. Thirty seconds later it was Treweeke who was fouled on a move to the cage. She connected on her free possession shot to make it 4-4. Then in the blink of an eye it was 5-4 when Treweeke converted a Meredith Newfrock pass at 9:07.

“She is a feisty competitor and she loves to win,” Mountain Lakes coach Jen Munday said. “You can see the look on her face at times when she’s running after the ball or going to goal. She really took it to another level today. … It’s what we need from our underclassmen. She kind of took the team on her shoulders and said “I’ll score” which was great.”

Having more offensive weapons can only help the Lakers as they continue to advance in the tournament. As teams double Perry, a fine individual finisher, and Victoria Kalamaras, who is a terrific feeder who can drive to the cage, it provides scoring opportunities for others.

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Rachel Treweeke is picked up by her Mountain Lakes teammates after she was knocked down while scoring a goal. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

“She knows when to step up,” Perry said of Treeweke. “When they were playing so tight on me and Victoria she knows exactly when to step in. She makes great cuts as well as great drives. She really gave a spark to our team and kept us going.”

With the Lakers back in the game, the contest became a back-and-forth battle. Both teams have skilled offenses, so the defenses did their best to keep up. The Lakers defense stuck to its opponent, forcing bad angle shots or offerings that Krupnick could corral. Mountain Lakes also made solid clears and was able to initiate some quality scoring chances in transition.

“We were playing man-to-man (defense),” Mountain Lakes goalie Krupnick said. “Everyone is really good on (Oak Knoll’s) attack and midfield. We knew we had to play well on all of them. We did a great job of forcing them out. We all did what we had to do and it worked out well for us.”

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.

151 gl st moormend mlokMountain Lakes’ Jill Boehmcke leans on Oak Knolls’ Diane Kelly during the state tournament contest. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

Oak Knoll rallied to tie the game twice in the second half, but Mountain Lakes always had the answer. They won draws and took advantage of scoring opportunities when they needed to the most.

“In terms of the draw our girls were so scrappy,” Munday said. “We got a lot of draw controls and that was very important. If you have the draw you get the offensive possession. I think in the closing minutes of the second half we possessed the ball well on the offensive end.”

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. Perry’s looked extremely impressive as she circled and split her defenders for an open shot at the cage.

“They started to pressure us out and at that point it was awkward (trying to decide) if you want to score or hold it. Our coach told us she wanted to keep on going,” Perry said. “They were coming at us really fast and they have some really quick defenders. We were able to slither around them and get an open look at the goal which is very difficult but it gave us the edge on them.”

115 gl st moormend mlokMeredith Newfrock (18) keeps the pressure on as she watches a Mountain Lakes’ shot that ends up in Oak Knolls’ goalie stick. (Photo by Mark Kitchin)

A score by Morgan Ryan at 1:50 gave the Royals hope, but Mountain Lakes won the next draw and Hannah Cronk converted a Victoria Kalamaras feed to seal the victory.

The Lakers could also enjoy a triumph that was nearly a year in the making. Instead of tears of sadness, there were tears of joy running down their smiling faces.

“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.”

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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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