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Hoftijzer OT goal lifts Morristown

MORRISTOWN _ The typical high school freshman athlete most often is a combination of uncertainty, raw talent and, sometimes, hesitation, willing to defer to upperclassmen.

Morristown forward/midfielder Britt Hoftijzer is just the opposite. The Colonials' standout ninth grader has started every game this fall and, according to coach Katherine DeBiasse, "always makes smart decisions."

Hoftijzer's talent, poise and ability to analyze and capitalize played a large role in Morristown's 3-2 overtime victory over Montclair in the North Jersey Section 1, Group IV final on Thursday, Nov. 1.

With 2:03 remaining in overtime, Hoftijzer, who moved with her family to the United States from the Netherlands 10 months ago, knocked in the decisive goal, helping the Colonials notch their third consecutive sectional title, this one under DeBiasse, a first-year head coach.

"This is amazing," Hoftijzer said. "It's an amazing job by the team. We all played so well together. I'm very happy. It was exciting to score in a game that is really important."

Nervous at crunch time? Not at all. The jitters were long gone by then.

"I'm nervous 24 hours before games," Hoftijzer said. "I step on the field and they go away. I play with all I've got. I try my best."

Morgan Mastracchio, who assisted on the gamewinner, and Hoftijzer celebrated in front of the goalcage before the rest of the team, led by Olivia Graham, raced over to join in.

"For Britt being a freshman... She's a great asset," Graham said. "Field hockey is very big over in the Netherlands. Britt is soooooo good."

Hoftijzer's goal was a result of her ability to detect an opening.

"I saw space," she said, recounting her thought process leading up to the score. "The (Montclair) goalie had the long corner but not the short one. I usually pull to the right."

DeBiasse noted that Hoftijzer has "one of the hardest shots I've seen during my time at Morristown."

"Britt has got a gift," DeBiasse said. "Not only that but she's a nice person, a nice kid. She fit right in. She's coachable. She's goofy. She talks to everyone. Britt knows the game and makes smart decisions. I'm thankful for a player with skills like that."

Hoftijzer began attending school in Morristown in January after her family moved from Arnhem, a city of 156,600 in the eastern part of the Netherlands. The Hoftijzers came to the U.S. because her mother took a job with Merck. She has been playing field hockey since the age of 4 and was a member of high-level teams in her native country.

Morristown, which will meet Bridgewater-Raritan in a Group IV semifinal on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at Boonton High School, has been rejuvented since falling to Madison in overtime in the MCT semifinals.

"We were really upset about the MCT but we bounced back," Graham said. "Things have been completely different. Our passing, our energy, not only at practice but overall, keep going up."

The two teams alternated goals with the Colonials getting on the scoreboard first. Graham scored 4:32 into the opening period off a corner. Montclair evened the score when Elizabeth Haefeli pushed the ball into the goalcage. Indira Summerville put Morristown (12-5-2) in front, converting 4:05 into the second half. The Mounties received a goal from Sosi Korian with 12:43 remaining for 2-2. Before Korian scored, the Colonials fended off five corner attempts.

"The girls put their hearts on the field every game," DeBiasse said. "They deserve this."

It was the first sectional crown with DeBiasse at the helm. DeBiasse, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., took over for Diane DeSalvo, who headed the Morristown program for 33 years. She became a volunteer assistant in 2013 and served as junior varsity coach from 2014-2017. DeBiasse felt that the transition went smoothly.

"The girls knew me because I coached many of them on the JV level," she said. "They were familiar with me and we discussed things. It was an easier transition than bringing in a totally new person."




Wolfpack headed to sectional final

WASHINGTON TWP. (Morris) _ After taking a 1-0 lead 2:37 into the opening half, West Morris was feeling good about itself.

The Wolfpack, no doubt, was in a giddy state after extending that advantage to 2-0 with 10 minutes remaining before halftime. However, at the break, coach Courtney Barnett suggested her squad take it down a few notches emotionally and continue to play hard.

West Morris heeded Barnett's advice and did both, allowing it to survive a late penalty-stroke goal by Wayne Valley and emerge a 2-1 winner in a North Jersey Section 1, Group III semifinal on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

"Being up 2-0 is the most dangerous lead," said Barnett, whose Wolfpack gained a berth in the sectional title game for the third consecutive season. "That's why we talked. Teams become complacent. I really felt we needed another one in the first half. I knew Wayne Valley would fight back and put some pressure on us. They didn't get to the semifinals by chance."

And, just as Barnett anticipated, the Indians weren't done. Wayne Valley edged closer, 2-1, when Kaitlyn McNutt converted off a penalty stroke, awarded because the ball hit off a defender's foot, with 1:13 remaining, putting a scare into the Wolfpack (15-3-2). From there, the Indians, injected with confidence, tried to go back into West Morris' end but the home team was unyielding.

"We have to remember to play the whole game, not a certain half," said Wolfpack left wing Jenna Leonhardt. "We've got to be all in for the whole game."

Sophomore Sophia Prata, the right wing and scorer of West Morris' first goal, agreed that the late goal jarred her and her teammates.

"Maybe we did get a little complacent," Prata said. "The game is over when the clock runs out, not when we're up by two or three goals."

The Wolfpack will have to keep that in mind on Thursday, Nov. 1 when they clash with Warren Hills, which is aiming for its seventh straight sectional crown. West Morris, whose last sectional championship was in 2012, fell to Warren Hills in 2016 and 2017 and will need to toil for a full 60 minutes.

Versus Wayne Valley, the Wolfpack came out strong as Prata connected off a corner. Caroline Compoli sent the ball to the left post from the top of the circle and Leonhardt touched it on the goal line before Prata knocked it in. Leonhardt followed up her assist with a goal. Again, Compoli initiated the scoring sequence with a powerful shot on goal. Leonhardt cut through the circle and jabbed the ball into the right corner, just out of the reach of the Indians' diving goalie.

"It was 1-0 and I was eager to score," Leonhardt said. "I don't like when it's that close."

The Wolfpack, who graduated five starters, are relishing the opportunity to go up against Warren Hills again. West Morris feels as if it was underestimated in the preseason.

"We took everything to heart," Prata said. "We worked 10 times harder to prove everyone wrong. To win this game is so cool. We played with so much heart. It's because of the girls we play on the team with. We play for each other and it brings us closer."

Leonardt, too, feels that West Morris is exactly where it should be.

"We were underdogs at the beginning of the season," she said. "We belong here. We can stick around and win. I'm excited about the final. We've got to play to win and not to lose."

It was more than Prata and Leonhardt. Junior Alex Belen was a force at right back. Belen made an interception in West Morris' end at the 16-yard line and took the ball 14 yards. That was critical, as the Wolfpack would soon tally their second goal. Sweeper Maddie Ligos was praised by Barnett for "being composed with the ball and making key stops." Ligos thrived under pressure.

"I think scoring early was really important," Barnett said. "That was big for us. We set the tempo in the first half and that helped us a lot."




Third Morris XC title for Rams' Loveys

PARSIPPANY _ Julia Trethaway of West Morris knows the exact point when Randolph's Abby Loveys began seriously widening the gap.

"It was after the first mile. Abby went ahead there," said Trethaway, a junior.

After that, Loveys remained in Trethaway's sight most of the time but became smaller and smaller as she traversed the course at Central Park on the way to a record-shattering first-place finish at the Morris County Girls Cross Country Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

It was exactly what Loveys, the senior who finished in a course and meet record time of 17:07.47, wanted. The title was the third consecutive one for Loveys, who ran a 17:26.98 to finish atop the field at the NJAC Large Schools Championship a week earlier.

"I was feeling really good," Loveys said. "The weather was fine. It's a perfect day. The course wasn't muddy so it was faster. I went out hard and wanted to see what I could do. We were going after the team title. We got second place but that's OK. It's tough to go on all cylinders all the time."

Loveys, however, seems to be able to consistently perform at a high level. Her victory puts her in an elite class. Only two other girls - Kristen Hall of West Morris and Mackenzie Barry of Mendham - have won three Morris County Championships.

"It's an honor," Loveys said. "Morris County has a lot of good runners every year. There's always great competition."

Loveys was the only girl to complete the race in under 18 minutes. Trethaway crossed the finish line in 18:01.03. Montville's Anna George was third in 18:46.74 and Laura Green of Mount Olive clocked a 18:46.74 for fourth.

Mendham, whose top finisher was Madison Orlins (fifth place, 18:52.04), claimed top team honors with a score of 71. Randolph was second with 95 points and was followed by Villa Walsh. Also contributing to the scoring for the Minutemen were Megan Timoney, Grace Vives, Shannon Timoney, Kaitlin Vazquez, Ava Augustine and Ava Curry.

Cheering on Loveys was a large contingent of family. Their presence, she said, was helpful.

"It was rewarding to have them here," she said. "Everyone on our team was cheering, too."

Trethaway, fourth in the Morris County Girls Cross Country Championship last fall, was a bit disappointed as she did not get the time she wanted but noted that it would motivate her for upcoming sectionals. She planned to go out hard as well.

"I'm not good at hanging on," Trethaway said. "I go off how I feel and I felt pretty good. I worked the uphills. I had to pace myself after Abby went out ahead. She was definitely in the distance for most of the race.The first mile is a gradual downhill so it's easy to glide. The second mile is an adrenalin rush.

"I love racing against Abby. She's tough to beat. It's never like I say 'I'll just let her go.' I push for as long as I can."

The sectionals are on Trethaway's mind now.

"I'm going to unleash there," she said. "My time was just not what I wanted. I'm already pumped, I can do so much better."



Madison tops Mo-Beard in MCT final

BOONTON _ Madison's last two Morris County Field Hockey Tournament championships have had distinct feels to them.

Last year's theme was dominance as the Dodgers outscored their MCT opponents, 23-2. The 23rd MCT championship, attained with a 4-3 win over Morristown-Beard on Tuesday, Oct. 16, was markedly different as Madison had to come from behind in the semifinals and survive a late surge in the title game.

None of the drama the top-seeded Dodgers, sparked by Kerrianne McClay's hat trick in the final, dealt with over the last four days mattered. Their only concern was being the last team standing.

"Perseverance. That's the word," said McClay, who scored Madison's first, third and fourth goals and earned offensive MVP honors. "The semifinal against Morristown was stressful. Tonight's game was close. Winning the title was exciting. It was really great. It hasn't sunk in yet. Maybe tomorrow it will or maybe the next day."

Morristown-Beard, seeded third, had a late surge, scoring two goals in the last 1:16. Kaitlyn Tartaglione connected with 1:16 remaining, leaving the Crimson trailing, 4-2. The most surreal - and scary moment for Madison - of the championship game occurred just 50 seconds later when Morristown-Beard's Sam Hutchinson received the ball off a corner and sent it 15 yards in the chilly night air into the right side of the goalcage. 

"For me, getting that goal meant we still had a chance to tie it up," said Hutchinson, a senior defender. "Maybe we could get another and go to overtime. Maybe we could win. We definitely showed our heart. It was a team effort. We didn't give up. We never stopped running."

The aerial play is one that Hutchinson and the Crimson practice often. They've had success with it in one other game this season.

"We've been working to perfect it," Morristown-Beard coach Kate Alderman said. "To execute that was terrific. The girls wanted it. We really did have a lot of heart. A few more minutes... I'm incredibly proud."

Madison junior back Emma Yousey said that Madison (13-2) had "a little letdown" over the last few minutes.

"We reassured each other. We looked at the time and there wasn't much left," Yousey said. "We needed to hold them off. It was frustrating when Morristown-Beard scored those goals."

Soon after, the Dodgers were reveling in their 23rd MCT title, their sixth in seven years. Madison has claimed 11 of the last 13 championships.

"This is just crazy," said Yousey. "We wanted to do it for the seniors. The Morristown game was really hard. We got pretty emotional. We didn't have Elizabeth (Romano) and some other great players this year and overcame the predictions. The juniors and seniors came together. We worked on our chemistry. We had to work as a unit."

McClay, a senior, put forth an exceptional effort. She scored 4:30 into the game off a corner, staking the Dodgers to a 1-0 lead. Emma Meister had the assist. Alexa Slabaugh, on the post, took a pass from Chase Cmaylo and tipped the ball in 13:20 before halftime.

The Dodgers made it 3-0 thanks to McClay's second goal 8:16 into the second half. For that score, McClay dribbled into the circle and dodged several opposing players before unleashing an on-target shot. The Crimson got on the scoreboard with 10:30 remaining when Kaitlyn Tartaglione put the ball across the goal line. McClay completed her hat trick with yet another forceful shot, teaming up with Meister again on a corner midway through the second half to increase Madison's advantage to 4-1.

Jesslyn Patricia of Morristown-Beard was recognized as the defensive player of the game.

Crimson, Dodgers prevail in MCT semis

BOONTON _ Wonderful. Fantastic. Ridiculous.

Those were the words that spilled out of Nicole Borowiec's following Morristown-Beard's 3-1 victory over Parsippany in a Morris County Field Hockey Tournament semifinal at Boonton High School on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Borowiec, a senior forward, was speaking rapidly, anxious to join her Crimson teammates in their extended celebration of the triumph that vaulted them into their first MCT final and to get to the homecoming festivities back at school. Borowiec was clutch in the first semifinal, scoring what proved to be the game-winning goal 3:42 before halftime to snap a 1-1 deadlock.

"We were very prepared," Borowiec said. "We deserve to play in the final. Parsippany put up a great fight. This is impressive for us. No one expects things like this from a small school. We want it badly. We have a lot of skill and we practice hard. I'll sacrifice homecoming for this. I'm really excited for us."

It was the second consecutive semifinal appearance for Morristown-Beard, which will meet top-seeded and defending champion Madison, a 3-2 victor over Morristown in overtime thanks to Isabella Fragomeni's goal. Last fall, the Crimson were shut out, 3-0, by Morristown but turned in a strong all-out effort and wanted more.

"I'm really happy for the girls," Crimson coach Kate Alderman said. "Everything clicked early for us. We're relatively young but there are great dynamics on and off the field. It's an exciting time."

Parsippany, which stunned second-seeded West Morris a day before, opened the scoring, receiving a goal from Kaitlyn Fang, on the post, 13:24 into the game, jarring Morristown-Beard. Five minutes, two seconds later, the Crimson evened the score when freshman Emma Karrat converted.

"That was a bit of a wakeup call," said Borowiec, referring to Fang's goal. "We needed to calm down. We weren't frazzled but it. We knew we could get it back."

Borowiec dodged several players before sending a shot into the left side of the goalcage from a foot inside the right side of the circle. Joelle Russomanno capped the scoring for Morristown-Beard, connecting with 6:08 remaining in the game off a corner after picking up a pass from Borowiec. Sam Hutchinson initiated the scoring play, inserting the ball on a corner.

"It took us awhile to warm up, for sure," Alderman noted. "We needed (Parsippany to score first). It motivated us. From that point on, we passed well and clicked as a team."

Hutchinson, a senior co-captain and center back, excelled on defense and offense for the Crimson. Left back Sarah Williams had a busy afternoon and was effective in keeping Parsippany from dominating on the right side of the field.

The Red Hawks were energized and looking to post another upset. Fang's goal made it seem like a possibility.

"That goal was great but I wasn't sure we could sustain it," Parsippany coach Rebecca Lilienthal said. "Morristown-Beard is tough. You can't give them opportunities. We couldn't hang in there for the whole game but our kids played hard. It's difficult to have the momentum back to back to back. I liked our girls' heart. We never gave up."

Juniors Alyssa Gallagher and Michelle Ebel each had a goal-line save and were just two of the Red Hawks' many standouts.

Morristown-Beard's players arrived back at school in time to take in the part of the football game and the homecoming festivities as well as share their accomplishment with their classmates and fans.

"I am really, really happy," Borowiec said before dashing off to the bus.

Fragomeni, who transferred from Mountain Lakes her junior year, had a goal for Madison in last year's title game but the one she had versus the Colonials in this season's semifinals was likely the high point of her scholastic career. Fragomeni, a senior forward committed to Old Dominion, simply decided "I'm ending this. It's over."

She gained control of the ball on the right side of the circle and sent the ball into the left side of the goalcage 4:20 into the extra period. There was absolutely no hesitation when she got the ball on her stick. Fragomeni, who "tends to play with the ball," according to Dodgers coach Ann Marie Davies, immediately unleashed the shot that would result in the decisive goal. The ball eluded Morristown goalie Emily Prachthauser, who had an exceptional game, making an abundance of key saves.

"I sometimes look to pull it," Fragomeni admitted. "Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it doesn't. I do it so the team has time to run up."



Cougars run MCT streak to six

RANDOLPH _ Chatham's Sydney Berkson and Emma Sheldon were sweating through a first set tie-breaker at second doubles when players began finishing their matches during the Morris County Girls Tennis Tournament finals.

Berkson and Sheldon consider every point, every match, important but had no idea how critical their match was until they prevailed, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0, over Morristown-Beard's Sophia Maney and Emma Duffy and their coach, James Cai, approached them.

"High five," a smiling Cai said, putting his right hand up. "You just won the county title."

The Cougars' sixth consecutive championship, attained on Sunday, Sept. 23 at County College of Morris, was extremely satisfying because it was so hard fought. Berkson and Sheldon, along with second doubles player Libby White, were the only ones from Chatham to advance to the finals. Berkson and Sheldon's triumph allowed the Cougars to edge out second-place Morristown by one point, 17-16.

Kinnelon and Morristown-Beard tied for third with 15 points apiece. Mountain Lakes was next with 14 so it was actually a good thing that Berkson and Sheldon didn't know what was going on with the team scores.

"We came here so nervous," said Berkson, a sophomore. "After warmups, we were confident and got more focused. The first set was difficult. I thought, 'Whoa, what's going on?' during the tie-breaker. I didn't think it would be easy... It was getting frustrating. In the second set, they were wearing out. I couldn't believe it was 6-0."

"It was so close," Sheldon, a senior, noted. "We know that every single point counts. We had to miss as little as possible. One by one, everyone was leaving (the courts). There have been times when we've been the last ones on the court but... We had to power through. We had tunnelvision. It was better if we didn't know if the team was winning or losing. We just kept a positive attitude and played as hard as we could."

Berkson, who has been striving to be more consistent and to improve her mindset, exhibited strong backhand strokes. First serves were Sheldon's forte. The duo was very pleased by their second doubles crown because this is their first season on varsity.

"We play well together," Sheldon said. "We bring each other up. We heard the cheering and kept a positive attitude."

Kinnelon senior Britany Lau garnered her third straight first singles crown, dispatching Hannah Blake of Morristown-Beard, 6-1, 6-0. Lau, who went up 4-0 in the first set, relied on solid serves and solid play at the net.

"I can't think of exact words to describe this," Lau said. "I'm very lucky and very excited. I got to represent my school in this tournament for another year. I focused on every point and came to the net often. I put away a lot there. I moved through the court more."

Lau, of course, was in a familiar environment, having played many of her matches at CCM over the last three years. She was delighted for freshman teammate Claire Zhang, who topped Chatham's Libby White, 6-0, 6-0, to finish atop the field at second singles.

"I've played challenge matches with Claire and hit with her," Lau said. "Having her win at second singles is big for our school. She's similar to me - very focused on her game, consistent, fast. Claire is crafty with her hands."

Zhang, introduced to tennis at the age of 7 by a neighbor, planned to be aggressive and "put a little more on my serve." She was anxious at first during the final but quickly settled in.

"It feels really good," Zhang said. "I've never been in a tournament this big."

Kinnelon coach John Cataldi, naturally, was proud of Lau and Zhang.

"What they did is awesome," Cataldi said. "Both of them were on their games for the entire tournament. They are consistent and dedicated and have a passion for the sport. They have great personalities and are leaders on and off the court. Both girls needed mininal coaching. I spoke to each of them once (in the finals). They were calm, cool and collected the entire time."

Maddie Siegel of Morristown defeated Montville's Amy Zheng, 6-2, 6-2, to take the third singles title. At first doubles, Mountain Lakes' Megan Matiwsky and Alexis Buchanan beat Isabella Galinkin and Alex Fisher, 6-4, 6-1.


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Cmaylo's two goals drive Madison

MADISON _ Chase Cmaylo had no problem getting the job done as a sophomore, racking up 15 goals and nine assists for Madison.

This fall, though, Cmaylo has admittedly been a little off. Nothing's changed for the junior forward. She simply couldn't convert.

On Friday, Sept. 21, Cmaylo rediscovered her scoring touch and put the ball in the goalcage not once, but twice, in the second half to power the Dodgers to a 2-1 non-conference victory over Warren Hills.

"I think that may have brought some momentum to the team," said Cmaylo, whose second and third goals were assisted by Kerrianne McClay. "We weren't really frustrated but I, we, really wanted to score. We took more chances after the first goal today."

For 44:23, the teams engaged in an even battle. Madison did not get out to an impressive start but quickly righted itself versus Warren Hills, the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex champion and Group III runnerup. Each team was in command for short periods of time. When Madison ventured into the Blue Streaks' territory, it was typically with McClay leading the charge. Thirteen minutes after halftime, Warren Hills had two of their seven second-half corners but Madison's defenders made sure scoring plays didn't materialize.

Cmaylo got the Dodgers (6-1) on the scoreboard 14:23 into the second half after picking up a rebound following a shot by McClay. She took two steps and sent the ball into the right side of the goalcage. Cmaylo's second goal was four minutes later. McClay had the assist again. This time, a scramble ensued after McClay took a shot on goal. Cmaylo sent the ball left and a Warren Hills defender missed the clear.

Madison coach Ann Marie Davies was glad to see Cmaylo knock the ball in and noted she "was due."

"We didn't get down when there was no score," said sweeper Sarah Cox, one of the standouts on defense for Madison. "We played well. We pumped each other up. We were in beast mode. We didn't have much energy when we came out then we began to play with heart and to play together."

Cox played the right post for the defensive corner unit and said it "was a little bit intimidating."

"We needed to be strong minded and get the ball out," she said. "We were aggressive in the circle. You have to go big or go home."

The 2-0 advantage seemed to be enough but Warren Hills (5-2-1) struck back, getting a goal from Juliana Valli with 7:28 remaining. Prior to the Blue Streaks' goal, there were more tense moments for the Dodgers as Warren Hills attempted three corners in a span of two minutes. Madison repelled each one successfully.

"This was a hard-earned win," Davies said. "The kids played well under pressure. We picked it up (after a slow start). We figured out how to get the ball through and figured out their system. They had one kid hanging back."

Davies praised goalie Nicole Ducey (8 saves), Cox and Margaret Sheeleigh. According to Davies, Sheeleigh was "everywhere" and her hustle had a major impact on the outcome of the game.

"We played with a lot of heart," Cox said. "This is going to be a turning point. I'm proud of our team,"

"This is a sneak peek into what the rest of the season will be like," Cmaylo said.


Freshmen spark Randolph

RANDOLPH _ Carly Snarski made the pitch to Lexi Campbell and the Randolph senior wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"You have to play field hockey," said Campbell, recalling Snarski's plea. "You have to. You need to try it. It'll be fun."

It didn't take long for Campbell, a freshman, to commit to the Rams' program. The two knew each other through the New Jersey Colonials Girls Ice Hockey Program and Snarski felt Campbell could easily transfer her skills from the ice to the turf.

Campbell, as expected, made great strides in a few weeks and scored the first goal of her varsity career early in the opening half when Randolph edged Mendham 2-1 in NJAC-American Division action on Saturday, Sept. 8. Another talented freshman, Sarah Bona, converted two minutes later for the Rams, who returned only three starters from last year's squad that went 15-4-3.

The win was the first of the season for Randolph, which suffered losses to Montclair and West Morris before rebounding with the victory over the Minutemen.

"We had one of our best practices yesterday," Rams coach Gina Adickes said. "It was super intense. The girls were cutting hard and hustling every second. I think it fed into today's warmup and game."

Friday's practice featured a knee-tap drill designed to improve the players' footwork and force them to get low. No sticks were used. The objective of the drill is to step forward and reach. Randolph also honed its long-distance passing. If a ball was missed and rolled onto the track, the Rams had to do sprints.

"The girls backed each other up. They were supportive," Adickes said. "I think they felt like 'The harder I work...'"

Randolph (1-2) was certainly charged up from the start. The 5-foot-2 Campbell, a right wing/midfielder, sent the ball across the goal line 3:03 into the game after receiving a pass from Olivia Meyers. Two minutes and three seconds later, Bona recorded her second goal, putting the Rams up, 2-0. Campbell had the assist.

Kristine Lynch initiated the scoring sequence that culminated in Campbell's score. Lynch sent the ball down the right side to Snarski. Meyers then received it and passed to Campbell, a center in ice hockey. Campbell, in the middle of the circle, fired into the right side.

"It was extremely exciting," Campbell said of her first goal. "It was kind of a rush. It was awesome."

Bona, who stands out because she is 5 foot 10, considered cross country because she enjoys running but went with field hockey. Her reasoning?

"I did field hockey clinics in the past and liked it," Bona said. "I wasn't sure about cross country. I used to play soccer. I was a goalie and didn't like that because I like to run. Field hockey is a team sport and it feels like a family. I'm learning so much from my teammates."

Marissa Biancone had a hand in Campbell's goal, setting things in motion with a through ball. Bona got her stick on it, got past several defenders and put the ball through the goalie's legs.

"I wasn't expecting it. It was really exciting," said Bona, who plans to play basketball and take part in spring track.

After dominating in the first half, Randolph played a great deal of defense after the break. Mendham (0-1) frequently surged into the Rams' territory with hopes of drawing even. The Minutemen broke through when forward Lily Weeks scored with 9:02 remaining. The Rams did not make a shot in the second half.

"We were sleeping at the beginning," Mendham coach Breanne Neff said. "Overall, we've been doing a good job but we weren't finding each other today. We weren't working together."

Senior back Emma Marks was exceptional for the Minutemen, doing what Neff called "an amazing job and stepping up when we needed her."

Meyers excelled in the midfield for Randolph. Previously, Meyers, a senior, was the left wing. She notched 17 goals last fall. Eve Guttman was effective as the Rams' sweeper.


Quigley gets in one more home run

MONTVILLE _ Elizabeth Quigley wanted to hit one more ball over the fence, to experience the adrenalin rush and have teammates waiting for her at home plate.

Quigley, Morris Tech's catcher, achieved her goal by slugging a sixth-inning home run for the Blue Team at the 11th Annual Morris County Senior All-Star Game held on June 12 at Montville Municipal Fields.

In her previous two at-bats, Quigley struck out so the two-run blast to right field, which came off a 2-2 pitch, was ultra meaningful. The homer was Quigley's last - in a Morris Tech uniform or any uniform - and gave the Blue Team a 6-2 lead.

"That's the one thing I wanted tonight," said Quigley, who will major in biomedical science at the University of South Florida, of her home run. "I made good contact. I wanted to make sure it went over. This is a good way to go out."

Quigley, known for her power stroke, has played softball since the age of 8 but has no plans to play in college. Maybe, she said, she'll change her mind and play club ball. However, it's unlikely.

"I want to try new things in college," Quigley said.

As a senior, Quigley hit eight homers. She had 18 during her high school career. Her last one was versus West Morris on May 5. Over the last nine games of the Devils' season, Quigley had none so having one in the finale was a mega thrill.

"I'll probably miss softball," she said. "If I do, maybe I'll play club and throw myself back into it."

Pequannock's Erin Dericks, also on the Blue Team, enjoyed participating in the game as well. Dericks, a catcher, sat out the Golden Panthers' last two games with a pulled hamstring.

"It was really fun. I got to get to know the girls from other teams," Dericks said.

Dericks, headed to Salve Regina College, where she will study nursing, feared she'd aggravate the injury and she did while pushing off to chase down a ball hit to right field. She seemed to be in good spirits afterward as this, too, would be her last game.

"I was nervous about it," Dericks said. "I'm OK. I had a good time."

Her Pequannock teammate, Kayla Karaty, was yet another player bidding goodbye to softball. Karaty, a second baseman, will stay local and study business at Ramapo College. Ending her scholastic career didn't get her down. She hoped to get one more hit but did not succeed.

"I'm fine," Karaty said. "It's different when you're with your own team and the girls you've played with a really long time. That's more emotional."

Morris Catholic pitcher Grace Stairiker will continue her academics and athletics at Cabrini. Being with some of her New Jersey Sparks teammates, including Dericks and Karaty, made the all-star game more appealing.

"This was so much fun," Stairiker said. "A lot of my friends were playing tonight. It was good to see them."

Stairiker was pleased with getting out of a tense situation in the top of the fifth inning. Stairiker gave up a walk and a hit before getting three outs in a row, the last one a strikeout.

"That was a big deal," Stairiker said. "I was glad to get out of that without giving up a run."


France's Herbin hopes this is her time

GALLOWAY _ Celine Herbin knew her decision to leave her job as a biochemical engineer at the age of 27 to pursue a career in golf would make people question her mental stability.

Herbin was right. Everyone considered her...

"Crazy," she recalled. "It was looking very much like a dream to be a professional golfer at 27 when I was not at all the top player in France."

Still, Herbin, now 35, persisted, playing first on the European Tour before joining the LPGA. As of Saturday, June 9, Herbin, was in an enviable position - she had the clubhouse lead after shooting a 66 in the second round of the ShopRite Classic. In the opening round, Herbin also had a 66. Now, she is 10 under par and sitting atop the leaderboard.

Sei Young Kim had played 15 holes, recording birdies on seven of her last 10 holes, when darkness halted play. At that point, she was tied with Herbin at 10-under. When a weather delay caused tournament officials to clear the course at 1 p.m., Herbin, aiming for her first LPGA championship, was on the 18th tee waiting to tee off. She returned three hours later and birdied No. 18.

"Obviously, it's a good position to be," said Herbin, a native of France. "I don't really look at the leaderboard so I didn't really know what was going on today. I was just focused on my game. So I'm glad I'm the leader but there's still lots of players who have to play. Might not be at the end of the day. What counts is the leaderboard tomorrow night."

During the weather delay, brought on by thunder and lightning, Herbin took a nap and read the news. She mentioned Simona Halep of Romania claiming her first major, the French Open, after losing three previous finals. Halep, No. 1 in the world, won one tournament in the last 12 months before triumphing at Roland Garros.

Herbin's determination, passion and the coaching of Vicente Ballesteros enabled her to earn her full card on the Ladies European Tour in 2012. According to Herbin, Ballesteros changed her game completely six months before qualifying school. She competed on the LET for several years, picked up her LPGA credentials in 2015 then went back to her country to take part in the French Open, which she won.

"It's a little improvement every year," Herbin said. "So I won on the French Open. Last December, almost won the Dubai. You have to be patient in your career. Everybody has his own time."

Will this weekend be her time? Possibly.

"There is no secret really," she said. "It's to just keep on working on what I'm doing. I don't care if you miss 10 cuts if you win the 11th. The missed cut doesn't mean too much. What means is the work you do every day to keep on working on your game. You know it's going to come. You have to wait. So you never know what's going to come. Just keep on playing." 

Ashleigh Buhai had a 66 and was in a cluster with Annie Park (65), Mariah Stackhouse (65) and Su Oh, who has two holes left to play, were behind Herbin and Kim.

Buhai has been unable to get all aspects of her game in sync. If she's driving well, she isn't putting well and vice versa.

"The last two days, it just all started to click," said Buhai, who hails from South Africa. "I really try to commit and swing through the ball this week. I found a little something on the range late Thursday and I was able to take it into Friday."

The "little something" she found with the help of her husband, Kevin, and her caddie was that she was hanging back a little bit on her right side. It was determined she had to go through more on her left side.

"I just had to swing through it, commit to it," Buhai said. "I was just kind of pulling out of the shot a little bit. It definitely played a part this week."

Marina Alex had a 68 for a two-day total of 135 and was one of six players in seventh place. The Wayne Hills High School graduate teed off at 8:32 a.m. and got her round in before players were asked to clear the course.

Being among the leaders - and making the cut - certainly was pleasing to Alex, who has not been very successful here. In her six previous appearances at the ShopRite Classic, she made the cut twice and finished tied for 40th in 2012 and was in 65th place in 2016.

"Yeah, it's really cool," Alex said of making it to the third and final round at the ShopRite. "It was a similar experience to last year at the Open. U.S. Open. I played well. There is definitely some positive stuff to pull from there and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."'

Last summer, Alex had a memorable U.S. Open in her home state, ending the U.S. Open at Trump National tied for 11th. She earned $699,895 on the tour in 2017, the most she has made in her six-year career.

On Saturday, the key for Alex was simply hitting the ball straight and keeping it in play. She had a few trouble spots as evidenced by two bogeys but made them irrelevant with five birdies, including two on par 5s.

"I just kept it in the right parts of the golf course," Alex said. "Hit a lot of fairways out here like I did yesterday. If I wasn't on the green, I had only had one kind of really tricky up and down, which I didn't get up and down. That was kind of the only spot in I think two days, that I really put myself in a place where par was going to be pretty challenging so just hitting it in a spot where I'm safe to make a par if I'm not close enough to the hole."

Creamer, in Alex's group, was delighted to record a 66 in the second round and to tied for seventh place. Creamer, who said she "started over" after undergoing surgery on her left wrist last fall to repair an inflamed tendon, thrived with her driver, iron and wedges. She is seeking her 11th LPGA title.

"After my surgery, we just really wanted to break everything down and basically start over again. Now that I'm strong and healthy, I can do a lot more things with my golf swing. I'm able to put the ball. I'm in a better position with my hands and my wrists.

"It's not easy taking it from a driving range to a tournament. I don't know, for some reason, I've always played really well here. I've felt good. I went home after the Open for a couple days and worked on some really good things. Just taking what the golf course gives me."

Creamer penciled in eight birdies. It was the most she's had in awhile and she found it encouraging. In 2017, Creamer was tied for the lead at the Shop Rite Classic going into the final round with a 67-66 but faltered on Sunday by shooting a 74 and wound up in seventh place.

"I just want to keep doing what I'm doing with my swing, not do anything different really," Creamer said. "It's another day out on the golf course. I know last year when I came in, (it was) kind of a similar situation. I mean, I don't know what's going to happen this afternoon, but I'll be within four or five of the lead... I put a little bit too much pressure on myself and didn't quite perform the way I wanted to on Sunday. I know that going into it. I just have to go out and have fun and enjoy it." 

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