Despite seven points by Erin Waller and solid goaltending by Meredith Bechler, the Washington Township girls' lacrosse team couldn't maintain an early lead and fell to defending champion Ridgewood, 14-11, in Thursday's NJSIAA state Group 4 final at Ridge.
Waller deposited five shots in the net and assisted on a pair of goals for the Minutemaids (18-3), who were making their second trip to the state title game in the last three seasons.
Katie Gill, Megan Tiernan, and Nicole Tiernan added two goals apiece to round out Washington Township's scoring. Bechler turned aside eight shots, but 22-1 Ridgewood - which won the state and Tournament of Champions titles in 2010 - was able to take a 9-7 lead into halftime.
New Egypt's quest to repeat as NJSIAA state champion remains alive, after the second-seeded Warriors vanquished top-seeded Florence, 4-0, in the Central Jersey Group 1 title game.
Emily Bausher allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out a dozen Flashes, and the senior contributed at the plate as well - picking up a single and a double, driving in one run, and scoring twice.
New Egypt (23-3) has won three consecutive sectional crowns, including the South Jersey championship last season and the Central Jersey title in 2009.
Central Jersey Group 4. Third-seeded Rancocas Valley's bid for its first sectional title since 2007 fell victim to the Cinderella run by No. 12 seed Howell, which concluded its improbable run to the championship by outscoring the Red Devils, 12-10.
South Jersey Non-Public B. Shayla Giosia batted 3 for 4, knocked in five runs, and scored twice to lead No. 5 seed Gloucester Catholic to a 13-1 rout of top-seeded Wardlaw-Hartridge in a sectional semifinal.
The defending state champion Rams didn't waste any time in taking command, pushing across five runs in the first inning and six in the second.
Caitlyn Eltzholtz (two runs) and Carly Todd each chipped in three hits, while winning pitcher Abby Merryman scattered three hits.
Gloucester Catholic awaits the winner of Friday's semifinal between No. 3 seed Sacred Heart and seventh-seeded St. Joseph.
South Jersey Non-Public A. Ali Summers (3 for 3) had two doubles and one RBI for No. 4 seed Camden Catholic, but the Irish couldn't protect a 2-0 first-inning lead in falling, 3-2, in a semifinal at top-seeded and defending state champion St. John Vianney.
After giving up two runs in the top of the eighth inning, Clearview rebounded with three in the bottom of the inning to beat visiting Delsea, 8-7, in a Tri-County Conference Royal Division matchup.
Steve Keane doubled twice and scored two runs for the Pioneers, and Delsea's Joe Branco went 4 for 5 with two RBIs.
Colonial. Tom Jakubowski hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and West Deptford erupted for an eight-run third inning en route to a 13-2 win at Collingswood.
Doug Hadden at email@example.com.