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Tiernan leads Township to lacrosse title

Megan Tiernan is fast enough in a normal state of mind.

Megan Tiernan is fast enough in a normal state of mind.

When the Washington Township junior gets angry, she makes the other players on the field look as if they're standing still.

That's what happened in the second half of Thursday's South Jersey Group 4 championship game in girls' lacrosse.

Tiernan got upset, found another gear, and scored all five of her goals in the second half to lead Washington Township to a 14-7 victory over Lenape.

"I get angry sometimes," Tiernan said. "I get mad, and I see myself running past them [defenders]. I play it out in my mind."

Tiernan took over the game just as top-seeded Washington Township (17-2) was facing its most severe threat from seventh-seeded Lenape (10-10), a surprise team that had upset second-seeded Clearview and third-seeded Toms River North to reach the sectional final.

Led by goalie Caroline Huelster, who made 15 saves, as well as attack Rena Carabases, who scored five goals, the Indians controlled play early in the second half and tied the score, 5-5, on Carabases' goal with 21 minutes, 43 seconds to play.

Enter Tiernan.

A displeased Tiernan.

"I had a lot of nerves before the game," Tiernan said. "When they came back and tied it, that really upset me. I knew I had to go all-out and give it everything I had. It was a new game."

Tiernan scored three consecutive goals and four of five as the Minutemaids went on a 5-0 run to take a 10-5 lead.

When Lenape closed to within 10-7, Katie Gill scored two goals and Tiernan and Christina Brennan each added one to secure Washington Township's second sectional title in the last three years.

"Megan was absolutely amazing," said Washington Township coach Sandy Stockl, whose team will face the winner of the North Jersey championship game between Ridgewood and Hillsborough in next Thursday's state championship game.

"She has incredible speed, and then she seems to have that extra gear."

Lenape   3 4 – 7

Washington Township   5 9 – 14

Goals: L-Rena Carabases 5, Olivia Streilein, Courtney Norton; WT-Megan Tiernan 5, Christina Brennan 3, Katie Gill 2, Brittany Bollendorf, Jenna Dingler, Jill Spencer, Erin Waller.

Saves: L-Caroline Huelster 15; WT-Meredith Bechler 7.