PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Junior Katrina Martinelli, senior captain Alyssa Ogle, and sophomore goalkeeper Bridget Bianco helped Moorestown claim the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions girls' lacrosse title yesterday at Rutgers University's Yurcak Field. The 11-8 victory over Mountain Lakes gave the Quakers their 10th consecutive overall state championship and 17th since the tournament started in 1976.
"To complete a decade of excellence is just awesome and I'm proud to be a part of it," said Ogle, who finished with three goals. "Winning this game is what we've worked for all year."
The victory didn't come easy for Moorestown (25-1), which hasn't lost to a New Jersey team in 210 games.
Moorestown led, 6-3, at halftime and controlled the tempo for the first six minutes of the second half before Mountain Lakes (18-5) narrowed the score to 6-5 with a pair of goals in a minute. The Lakers seized the momentum and pressured Moorestown over the next six minutes, but were unable to penetrate the Moorestown defense as Bianco turned back three shots.
"I just tried to keep my composure and focus on everything that came at me," said Bianco, who shared goalie duties with senior Karli Tobin. "The defense in front of me did a great job not letting Mountain Lakes get too many good shots."
With 11:58 left in the game, Martinelli found Stephanie Toy open and the freshman rifled a shot past Mountain Lakes goalie Britt Dignes. A half-minute later, junior Kelsey Miller scored off another Martinelli assist, stretching the lead to 8-5.
"I have spurts when I can score a couple of goals," said Martinelli, who had a hat trick in the first half. "I try to take advantage of what's presented to me on the field. If I can take it to goal, I go. If my teammates are open I try to get them the ball."
Ogle, who has been hampered by injuries throughout the season and sat out about 10 minutes of the second half, netted a pair of goals sandwiched around a Mountain Lakes score putting the Quakers in front by 10-6 with 6:37 left in the game.
"Coach [Deanna] Knobloch told me to go hard to goal when I went back in," Ogle said. "When I listen to Coach, things go well for me."
"Alyssa was amazing, that's her - she will never give up," Knobloch said.
Martinelli closed out the scoring for the Quakers with an unassisted goal for an 11-6 lead with 1:27 remaining.
"We've been down before this year and fought back," Knobloch said. "Mountain Lakes has a lot of speed and those girls can shoot. They never quit, but our team showed heart and determination. Winning the 10th is a bit overwhelming. There was a lot of pressure put on us this year, but our girls thrived on it and wouldn't want it any other way."
Moorestown - 11
Mountain Lakes - 8
M: Katrina Martinelli 4, Alyssa Ogle 3, Stephanie Toy 2, Jenna Dougherty, Kelsey Miller.
ML: Jordan Renna 3, Alex Mintz 2, Ingrid Hermanson, Hallie Walker, Kyley Walsh.
Saves: M-Karli Tobin 6; Bridget Bianco 6. ML-Britt Dignes 10.