Girls Lacrosse Makes A Stand Against Glen Ridge

By on April 20, 2018

The Lady Hillbillies of Verona and the visiting Ridgers of Glen Ridge put on a great show this past Wednesday that definitely lived up to the pre-game hype.

Glen Ridge has been the ruling girls lax power in Essex County the last two years and it started the game that way, jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead two minutes in from its leading scorer and Penn State commit, Gretchen Gilmore. But this game had a different vibe in the air when Verona came right back to tie the score a few minutes later as senior captain Cecilia “CC” Courter muscled her way past two defenders to find the back of the net for the first of her game-high five goals. Courter would also add an assist in the second half to finish with a total of six points, also a game-high. And Verona wasn’t finished when sophomore Maggie Lonsinger scored on a free-position goal to give Verona a 2-1 lead, exciting the home crowd in the process.

Glen Ridge would respond forcefully, reeling off the next three scores to move ahead of the Hillbillies, 5-2, and it was poised to run away with the game at the 14 minute mark. The Hillbillies dug deep and made a stand, winning the next draw control in a hard-fought scrum for the ball that ended up in junior midfielder Ally Madigan’s stick. Verona set up in its offense and worked the ball around until Courter found herself in space with a single defender and, after several juke moves, went to goal with her left hand and drilled a shot in the opposite corner of the net to put Verona back to a two goal deficit, 5-3.

Glen Ridge would respond with another score in transition to make the score 6-3, before junior defender Lara Tole’s defensive stop and transition pass to sophomore Clara Frizzi would eventually lead to junior Julia Mackey making the score 6-4 with her first goal of the game. Verona’s defense would stiffen for the next few minutes, stopping three consecutive free position shot attempts from the eight-meter mark thanks to scrappy team play from the defense and some quick reactions from sophomore goalie Skyler Freedman, who would finish with six saves for the game.

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The Ridgers were finally able to make it 7-4 right after two failed offensive possessions from Verona with around two minutes left, but the Lady Hillbillies continued to fight back as Tole successfully stick-checked a turnover back to the ‘Billies. That led to a quick transition back toward the Glen Ridge goal, where Courter took an underhand toss from Lonsinger and hit the back of the net for her third goal of the game with only 20 seconds remaining in the first half. The half wasn’t over, however, until junior defender Erin Kiernan stuffed a last-second scoring attempt at the near post by the Ridgers right as the last seconds ticked off the clock.

Lonsinger would start Verona off in the second half on the right foot, moving the Hillbillies to within one goal of the lead again, 7-6 on an assist from Mackey. The two teams would then trade another pair of goals with Courter picking up a ground ball, then running the length of the field to find Mackey for the junior’s second goal of the game to keep Verona within a goal, 8-7.

Glen Ridge would rattle off the next two goals in an effort to distance itself from the scrappy Hillbillies, until Madigan would be awarded the draw and then go straight to goal to bring Verona back to within two goals, 10-8. Once again the teams would trade goals to increase the score to 11-9 with Courter netting her fourth of the game for Verona with 7:38 left in the game. This sequence would continue to repeat with Maggie Ashley and Maggie Lonsinger scoring for Verona to bring the home team to within one goal with just 1:10 left in the game. But Glen Ridge would capture the ensuing pivotal draw control and then put the final nail in the coffin with 40 seconds left to make the final score 13-11.

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This likely won’t be the last game between Verona and Glen Ridge this season. If the Lady Hillbillies defeat Montclair Kimberly in the next round of the Essex County Tournament next week, they will most likely get their chance at redemption with the Ridgers in the ECT semifinal round in early May. Stay tuned.

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