Spotlight on: Haddonfield senior Maddie Kiep and junior Gretchen Kiep
It's easy to forget that the Haddonfield girls' lacrosse team is still in just its fourth varsity year.
In a season in which many programs are still finding a footing, the Bulldogs (8-5) have their eyes set squarely on a sectional title.
There wasn't much of an infancy for the program, largely because of the midfield tandem of sisters Maddie and Gretchen Kiep.
"When they work together, they're amazing," Haddonfield coach Jess Blake said. "They know where each other is. They really feed off of each other. They push each other. When one makes a mistake, the other is there to pick her up. It's just really fun to watch them on the field together."
The two are Haddonfield's top scorers and among the team's top defenders. With Gretchen Kiep's move from attack to midfield this season, they are playing side-by-side for the first time in their careers.
"It's been pretty fun," said Maddie Kiep, a Cornell recruit. "Running together in the defensive area and the attack is definitely special - it's more time together on the field overall."
The Kieps said that, at times, they can be just as competitive with each other as they are with their opponents.
After their team dropped last season's sectional Group 1 final to Pingry, the sisters have every intention of helping Haddonfield to its first South Jersey title, making history in their last year together on the same high school field.
"We just have that connection when we're on the field together," said Gretchen Kiep, who wants to play in college but is undecided about where. "At the end of the day, we just love playing with each other, and I can't imagine not playing with her next year."
- Chris Melchiorre