T of C title caps perfect Moorestown season

Posted: June 10, 2012

UNION, N.J. - With 14 minutes left in the game, it was vintage Moorestown.

A comfortable eight-goal lead. The team running like a machine. And the writing on the wall for another girls' lacrosse Tournament of Champions title.

Nine minutes later, Mary Flick walked into the draw circle with the weight of a perfect season on her shoulders.

Later, after her team ultimately escaped a 12-11 winner over Chatham on Saturday at Kean University, she readily and loudly conceded: "I was freaking out."

It didn't show.

Lack of possession had led to seven quick, unanswered goals for Chatham.

But on the ensuing draw after Chatham pulled to within 12-11, Flick outmuscled the opponent in front of her and dislodged a ball that teammate Megan Kelly scooped up.

It allowed for a lengthy possession in the game's final minutes that quelled the scorching Chatham fire. It helped Moorestown hold on and record its first 26-0 season and its first T of C title since 2009.

"Possession is key in the game," Flick said. "I knew my role was to get in the draw circle and gain possession. I just tried to stay focused on that."

Moorestown ultimately lost 16 of 24 draws in the game. It was one of the few blemishes in a nearly flawless performance. But it was a something Flick atoned for with 2:54 left.

"That was huge," said Moorestown coach Deanna Knobloch, who now has 19 de facto state championships. "Possession is everything right there. If they get it, they go down and score and it's a tie game.

"Chatham brought it to us in that second half. They had us on our heels up until the last second of the game.

"I just couldn't be any prouder of this team for the way they've grown this season."

Before Chatham's improbable run, Moorestown looked as balanced and polished as it had for most of 25 previous wins.

"This was the moment we've waited for all season," Quakers senior Haleigh Dalmass said. "The ending was scary - I'm not going to lie. They were on fire and we struggled to slow them down and get the ball back.

"But it worked out. And to do this with my best friends makes it even better."

Carly Taglienti led Moorestown with three goals. Steph Toy, Lindsay Goldblatt, and Nikki McMonagle each added two.

The team jumped out to a 7-2 lead, which extended to 12-4 when Moorestown opened the second half with four consecutive goals.

But on a dime, Group 2 champion Chatham (23-3), went on a seven-goal tear, including three by midfielder Jaclyn Leto.

It was scary. It was unsettling. But when the Quakers were huddled in the middle of the field after the game, jumping up and down, chanting 26-0, none of it seemed to matter.

"The feeling when that buzzer went off and we had won, it's a feeling like nothing I'll ever experience," Toy said. "To win it again. And to do it with these teammates and these coaches. I couldn't ask for a better season."

Chatham   4 7 – 11

Moorestown   8 4 – 12

Goals: C-Jaclyn Leto 3, Mary Kate O'Neill 3, Kelsey Perselay 2, Kallan Murray, Lauren Maiorano, Brittany Marriott; M-Carly Taglienti 3, Steph Toy 2, Lindsay Goldblatt 2, Nikki McMonagle 2, Marie McCool, Haleigh Dalmass, Mary Flick.

Saves: C-Hannah Reader 7; M-Amanda Currell 12.

Contact Chris Melchiorre at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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