The Montclair girls lacrosse team allowed Westfield to catch them in the North Group 4 state quarterfinal game on Tuesday, but the Mounties prevailed in the end in overtime.
After the Blue Devils tied the game at 10 in the final minute of regulation, Montclair goalie Talia Cohen-Vigder made the big save in extra time and then sophomore Olivia Nicoll fed junior Lizzy Giordano who fired a shot by Westfield goalie Lauren Furey with 24 seconds left in overtime that sent the Mounties to the North Group 4 semifinal.
Giordano scored five goals to lead fifth-seeded Montclair to an 11-10 victory at fourth-seeded Westfield. The Mounties raised their record to 9-9 and now travel to top-seeded Ridgewood on Thursday, June 1, 4:30 p.m.
For Montclair they are hoping that the team has improved since the first two weeks of the season. The Mounties lost 19-9 to Ridgewood at home on April 11. Montclair did play pretty even with the Maroons in the second half after being down 12-4 at halftime.
In the loss to Ridgewood, Giordano and senior Meghan Crane registered four and three goals respectively.
While Ridgewood has dominated the recent contests between the two teams, Montclair almost defeated the Maroons in 2021 when Ridgewood slipped by the Mounties, 9-8, in overtime. Cohen-Vigder was in goal when she was a sophomore.
For the Montclair defense they will need to stop Ridgewood senior Lindsey Devir who had 24 goals against the Mounties in four games.
Against Westfield, Montclair came out on fire as they scored seven goals in taking a 7-2 lead with about five minutes left in the first half with four of those goals from Giordano.
But the thoughts that this might be an easy state playoff game were quickly dash as the Blue Devils scored two goals in the final two minutes to slice the Mounties lead to 7-4 at halftime.
For Montclair they kept trying to build a big lead in the second half, but Westfield kept hanging around. Mounties sophomore Aven Hodgson scored halfway through the second half to hand Montclair a 10-7 lead, but the Mounties could not build on that.
And Westfield finally caught up as Blue Devils’ Sofia Della Rocco got a shot off that went over the right shoulder of Cohen-Vigder to tie the game at 10 with 43 seconds left in regulation.
The Mounties won the proceeding faceoff but could not get a shot off before the fourth quarter ended, sending the contest into a three-minute overtime.