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Field Hockey

Panthers repeat as sectional champs

PEQUANNOCK TWP. _ The feat was extraordinary - back-to-back sectional championships - and the Pequannock field hockey players were intent on reveling in it. The Golden Panthers whooped it up as a team then celebrated with their parents and fans after the 2-0 victory over Belvidere that propelled them to the North West A title on Saturday, Nov. 21. Pictures were taken. Well-deserved postgame treats were consumed. Smiles and laughter were abundant but there were a few tears, too, and sadness from the realization that the stellar, cohesive group had played together for the very last time. "Most of these…

Pequannock moves on in states

PEQUANNOCK TWP. _ Pequannock displayed a well-balanced attack, hitting on all cylinders on the front line, in the midfield, on defense and in the goaltender's cage. And, because of it, the resilient Golden Panthers earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over a quality Lenape Valley team in the North West A state tournament sectional semifinal on Friday, Nov. 20 at Pequannock High School. Top-seeded Pequannock (12-1) will play second-seeded Belvidere (8-3-1) in the North West A final on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. The County Seaters from Warren County defeated third-seeded Newton, 2-0, in the bracket's other sectional semifinal. Senior…

Crimson land berth in final

WEST MILFORD _ There are times when Morristown-Beard coach Kate Alderman wishes she had come up with a moniker for her seven seniors. Since freshman year, the talented group has been the epitome of reliable. They are relentless, united and focused. The list of attributes goes on and on. Alderman said she "knew they were the ones" when they were ninth graders. Apparently, Alderman was right. On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Crimson shut out second-seeded West Milford 2-0 behind goals by Jess Patricia and Ella Singer in a Northwest Region B semifinal. Morristown-Beard advances to the title game and will…

Bona, Rams are division champs

ROXBURY _ Randolph's possibility of a perfect season slipped away with a loss to Montclair on the road. The defeat stung, of course, but the Rams gleaned much from the setback that put the first blemish on their record and applied what they learned to notch a 4-0 victory over rival Roxbury on Monday, Nov. 9. The triumph, highlighted by Sarah Bona's hat trick, not only got Randolph back on track, it helped it clinch the NJAC-Northern Red title. The result of having that precious zero taken away? "It let us know what we had to look at," said Rams…

Pequannock shocks Dodgers

MADISON _ Franki Dygos was still new to high school sports when she had her first encounter with perennial county and state field hockey power Madison. That game was memorable but not in a positive way for Dygos, a freshman playing varsity for Pequannock. The Dodgers handed the Golden Panthers an 8-0 loss, their worst setback of the season, and the result lingered in her mind. "It was hard to forget," Dygos said. Thirty-seven months later, Dygos and her Pequannock teammates clashed again with Madison, and came away with a 4-0 shutout. Now Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020 will be the…

Penniston, Lakers fire up attack

MOUNTAIN LAKES _ In Mountain Lakes' season opener versus Boonton, Melina Penniston, making her first start on varsity, was nervous and held back. Penniston, a sophomore midfielder, was a bit out of sorts in the midst of the seniors. There were chances for her to impact the Lakers' attack but she didn't feel comfortable taking the shots on goal that she had practiced. On Saturday, Oct. 10, Penniston got confidence from her first goal then connected two more times to notch her first career hat trick when Mountain Lakes defeated Parsippany, 5-1, in a NJAC-Northern Blue game. "That first goal…

Wolfpack triumph as sports return

PARSIPPANY _ Athletes talk often about their desire to play each game as if it was their last. That adage, however, has taken on added meaning during the pandemic which has brought increased uncertainty to everyday life, including sports. "We could be shut down at any time," said Julia Carbon, who had a goal and an assist for West Morris when it shut out Parsippany Hills 3-0 in a NJAC-Southern Red Division field hockey opener on Thursday, Oct. 1. Carbon and her teammates, along with anyone else who wears a uniform or coaches at any level, are taking to the…

Pequannock ends lengthy title drought

PEQUANNOCK TWP. _ There was no specific reason for Brynn Kelly's promotion to Pequannock's starting lineup. The decision was made on Oct. 24, the day the Golden Panthers opened play in the state tournament. Since then, Kelly, a junior forward, has had a major impact on the attack, scoring a goal in each of Pequannock's postseason games. On Friday, Nov. 1, nine days after earning her spot among the top 11, Kelly struck first, converting off a corner with 5:42 remaining in the opening half to help the Golden Panthers to a 3-0 victory over Boonton in the North Jersey…

Chatham lands berth in final

CHATHAM _ The members of the Chatham field hockey team couldn't contain themselves as they navigated the hallways of the high school prior to their North Jersey Section 2, Group III semifinal. "We'd see each other and we'd yell. We'd shake each other," said Alexa Lee, whose second-half goals powered the second-seeded Cougars past Colts Neck 3-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 29. "Everyone was so excited." The players, who wore their shooting shirts and uniforms to school, had an abundant amount of energy during the day and managed to turn it up even more at game time. That exuberance meant extra…

West Morris notches first MCT title

BOONTON _ Alex Belen said the slip of paper, carefully placed between her shinguard and her sock, was meant to be a reminder of what West Morris sought to accomplish in the Morris County Tournament final. Champion, it read. The eight-letter word, however, became more of a mandate, at least that's the way the top-seeded Wolfpack viewed it. Belen, a senior right back, and her West Morris teammates channeled the word into a into their first MCT title on Tuesday, Oct. 15 by prevailing over Morristown-Beard, 2-1, in overtime. "It was part of our locker room talk," Belen said. "We…