Moorestown goes for another title in girls' lacrosse

Posted: June 05, 2012

Under the circumstances, coach Deanna Knobloch said afterward, it was "unheard" of that her Moorestown girls' lacrosse team should be on the winning end of its game against Mendham.

The undefeated Quakers had fallen behind, 3-0, and were at a 17-6 disadvantage in draw controls for the game, yet they walked away as 13-8 winners of Thursday's Group 3 title game against Mendham.

Moorestown (24-0) will take on Group 1 champion Glen Ridge (21-3) at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Tournament of Champions semifinals at Monmouth University.

The Quakers, as they always have, relied Thursday on some of the attributes that don't show up in the box score.

"This team is confident in each other," Knobloch said. "They've been together on the field a long time. They always know where each other is, and that's how they always play.

"Even though they were down against Mendham, they knew they could come back - there was no question in their minds."

It's something Moorestown proved to itself in last year's T of C semifinals, also against Glen Ridge.

The Quakers also fell behind by 3-0 in that game before clawing their way back to an 8-4 win.

Knobloch emphasized the amount of trust it takes for her players to overcome three-goal deficits in the season's biggest moments. That was most evident Thursday in an end-to-end defensive effort.

With such a disadvantage in draw controls, the Quakers were forced to fight for every one of their possessions. They face-guarded, made legal checks, and had no choice but to fight for every loose ball.

"Mendham won the draw so much that we had to play defense all over the field in order to get possession back," Knobloch said. "Every kid on the field that day had to play defense."

It's not an attitude that's completely foreign, even when the Quakers aren't being dominated on the draw.

Moorestown is outscoring opponents, 414-98, this season. The team has allowed double-digit goals only to two-time defending champion Ridgewood in a 15-10 win on May 10.

Defenders Megan Kelly, Marissa Randazzo, and Elizabeth Johnson, and goalie Amanda Currell have been particularly instrumental in the team's smothering defense.

That effort is something Moorestown will lean on Tuesday at Monmouth.

And it's something the team hopes it will have the chance to lean on Saturday in the championship game. A win Tuesday would give the Quakers the chance to play either Group 4 champion Ridgewood (22-2) or Group 2 champ Chatham (22-2).

"We're focused on reclaiming the T of C title," Knobloch said. "And the players know that the biggest thing is just being there for each other and playing together as a team.

"Individuals will not win it for us."


Contact Chris Melchiorre at rallysports@phillynews.com.

 

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