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Field Hockey

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…

West Morris blanks Cougars in MCT

BOONTON _ West Morris coach Courtney Barnett advised her players not to forget the game that brought their hopes of a Morris County Tournament title to an abrupt end. Seeded second in 2018, the Wolfpack appeared likely to gain a berth in the semifinals and advice to the final. Tenth-seeded Parsippany had different plans and ousted West Morris 1-0 in the quarterfinal round. Remembering the pain and disappointment of that early exit, West Morris, the top seed, blanked Chatham 4-0 in a MCT semifinal on Saturday, Oct. 12. "That was awful," said Sophia Prata, who knocked in two goals against…

Crimson shock Madison in MCT semifinals

BOONTON _ Morristown-Beard wasn't playing for a title - that's next - but the feeling was nearly the same, maybe even better. The Crimson, buoyed by Ella Singer's goal off a corner 7:02 into the second half, edged two-time defending champion Madison, 1-0, in a Morris County Tournament semifinal on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Boonton High School. It was Morristown-Beard's first win over the Dodgers in school history and earned it a return trip to the MCT final, where it will square off against top-seeded West Morris. Although Singer is a transfer from Millburn High School, she knows well the…

Fierro, Butler blank Pompton Lakes

BUTLER _ Meredith Fierro was presented with a golden opportunity and she made sure the chance would pay off big time for the Butler field hockey team. Fierro, the Bulldogs' savvy and productive junior center midfielder, cashed in by converting a penalty stroke midway through the second half to help Butler edge Pompton Lakes, 1-0, in a Northeast Field Hockey League game on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Memorial Field. Butler (4-2) has now won two straight games and three of its last four as it aims for its first winning season. Pompton Lakes (1-4-1), a perennial Passaic County power for…

Bombers in search of great moments

BOONTON _ Every team begins the season in search of something: Improved defense, an uptick in offensive output, more cohesive teamwork. As for the Boonton field hockey team, they are seeking great moments. The Bombers know there may be only few at times. Ultimately, they'd like to string them together endlessly and knock off a few of Morris County's top squads. On Monday, Sept. 9, the Bombers didn't have an excess of great moments but had enough to shut out Parsippany 1-0 in a game, whose outcome was determined by a second-half goal by Rebecca Deffler. "We want to have…

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…

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.…

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.…