Moorestown rolls to Group 3 championship

Posted: May 25, 2012

Both teams had already gone their separate ways.

For the Moorestown girls' lacrosse team, it was another win in an utterly flawless season. A 19-8 triumph over rival Shawnee in the South Jersey Group 3 title game. Another milestone, but not exactly something on the minds of the team's seniors immediately after Thursday's win.

One group hug wasn't enough.

Neither wasn't a second, lengthier 10-person embrace.

The 10 seniors decided to walk to the center of the field, lie down, and spend a couple of minutes pondering where the last four years have gone.

"It's gone by so fast, especially this season," said senior midfielder Steph Toy, who scored five goals against Shawnee. After the game, "we just told each other to cherish these moments. This was our last time on our home field.

"We're a very close class. We wanted to keep the memories going and enjoy these last moments on this field."

It's almost puzzling just how dominant Moorestown (23-0) has been this season.

The Quakers have faced some of the best lacrosse teams in the tristate area, and only two - Ridgewood, the defending Tournament of Champions winner, and Strath Haven (Pa.) - have come within five goals of them.

Every other team, including highly talented Shawnee (18-3), which lost only to Moorestown and Ridgewood this season, seemed a couple of levels below the Quakers.

Moorestown's cohesiveness, depth, fluidity, and chemistry in every aspect of the game are quickly apparent.

And, according to the team, much of that comes from moments such as the one that took place among the seniors after the win.

"We're just one unit, especially in this game. It looked awesome and it felt awesome to be a part of it," said senior Nikki McMonogle, who scored four first-half goals against Shawnee.

"We're like a family, and it shows on the field and off the field. You can tell that we just work well together. And I think that chemistry is very unique."

It's a quality that coach Deanna Knobloch expects will help her team as it attempts to make yet another run at a T of C title.

"The seniors are the leaders on this team. If they're going to play hard, and play with one another, everybody else is going to do the same," she said. "At this point, it's all mental for us. We need to make sure we stay together, stay injury-free, and stay focused on winning the next game."

The next game will likely be against Mendham on Thursday at Hunterdon Central for the state crown. The Quakers beat Mendham in quadruple overtime for the state title last year.

For Shawnee, the loss ends a season that coach Marisa McCormick labeled as somewhat of a rebuilding year at the start. And, if that's what it was, she said, a trip to the group title game and an 18-3 record aren't the worst things.

"I'm disappointed we lost by so much today," McCormick said. "But I'm very proud of this team and I'm not disappointed in the season we had."

Shawnee   6 2 – 8

Moorestown   12 7 – 19

Goals: S-Shannon Nugent 4, Nicole Troost 3, Keri White; M-Marie McCool 5, Steph Toy 5, Nikki McMonogle 4, Carly Taglienti 2, Lindsay Goldblatt 2, Sydney Dalmass.

Saves: S-Lily Argyle 6; M-Amanda Currell 5.

Contact Chris Melchiorre at

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