Top-seeded Mountain Lakes rolls into first MCT final since 2009

Top-seeded Mountain Lakes rolls into first MCT final since 2009

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Top-seeded Mountain Lakes rolls into first MCT final since 2009

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SUCCASUNNA

The top-seeded Mountain Lakes girls lacrosse team is making a triumphant return to the Morris County Tournament final for the first time since 2009.

For the past three years the final has been between Mendham and Chatham, but this season the Lakers have rewritten the championship by defeating No. 5 Kinnelon 19-10 in a semifinal game Thursday at Roxbury High School.

The Lakers (14-1) will face No. 2 Mendham, which defeated No. 2 Chatham 8-5 in the other semifinal, in the title bout on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Roxbury.

Senior midfielder Maddy Siebold opened the scoring with an assist from senior attack Megan Ryan to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the game. Senior midfielder Alli LaBeau scored her first of four goals less than a minute later to give Mountain Lakes a quick 2-0 advantage. Senior midfielder Heidi Annaheim scored for Kinnelon 14 seconds later to cut the lead to 2-1, and scored her second goal of the game less than a minute later on an assist from LaBeau to tie the game 2-2.

“They’re a tough team, they always are, they’re really aggressive so we needed to match that go beyond,” Lakers junior midfielder Jackie Perry said. “We knew they were going to come out even harder because we beat them earlier in the season so they were really intense and really aggressive so we just had to match that.”

Junior midfielder Jackie Perry gave Mountain Lakes back the lead with 22 minutes 12 seconds left in the first half, but Annaheim picked up her third goal of the game with 19:54 to go to tie up again, 3-3. LaBeau scored again three minutes later, but Annaheim scored her fourth-straight goal, which was also the 300th of her career, to tie the game 4-4 with 15:25 to play. With 10 minutes left in the half Siebold scored to give the Lakers back the lead, 5-4, and junior attack Victoria Kalamaras scored back-to-back goals to give Mountain Lakes a 7-4 advantage with 4:34 left.

Belanger scored for the Colts on an assist from Annaheim to pull within 7-5 with 2:57 to play, but the Lakers scored twice in the final 44 seconds to send the game to halftime with Mountain Lakes up 9-5. Kalamaras scored her 100th career goal with seven seconds left in the half.

“It’s exciting, but I think we’re just really happy that we won this game,” Kalamaras said. “We didn’t make it further than this last year so we really wanted to make it to the final.”

In the second half the Lakers stepped up their game on the draw controls, winning 13 compared to Kinnelon’s one, and outscored the Colts 10-5 for the 19-10 final. Perry scored four goals in the second half, while Kalamaras scored twice and had three assists and LaBeau scored twice. Senior attack Allie Britton had a hat trick in the second half for the Colts.

“I think that we were all just moving really well, creating space for each other and just looking for the feeds inside so I think that’s why a lot of people were able to get open,” Kalamaras said. “They’re a really good team and they came out strong, we really weren’t winning draw controls, that’s something we really focused on and in the second half we made sure we came out and made sure that was our main focus and I think that helped the momentum change in the second half.”

Senior goalie Sara Allison made four saves for the Lakers in the first half while freshman Julie Krupnick made one save in the second half. Senior Carly Cavagnaro made seven saves for Kinnelon.

Mountain Lakes advanced to seven-straight MCT finals between 1998 and 2005 and last won a title in 2004 when the Lakers defeated Mendham 11-7.

“We’re so excited,” Perry said. “It took a lot of hard work to get to where we are but we couldn’t be more excited for Saturday.”

Kinnelon (5-10) 5 5 10
Mountain Lakes (14-1) 9 10 19

GOALS: (ML) Perry 5, V. Kalamaras 5, LaBeau 4, Siebold 3, Newfrock, Fernandez; (K) H. Annaheim 5, Britton 3, Belanger, V. Annaheim; ASSISTS: (ML) V. Kalamaras 3, Siebold, Ryan; (K) Belanger 3, H. Annaheim 2; SAVES: (ML) Allison 4, Krupnick 1; (K) Cavagnaro 7; SHOTS: (ML) 30; (K) 14.

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