by Andrew Garda

The two-seed Montclair High School Girls Lacrosse team fought hard and beat a determined 3-seed West Essex team Saturday morning, advancing to the  finals of the Essex County Tournament. They meet 1-seed Glen Ridge next Saturday in Livingston at 4:30.

There were a lot of heroes in Saturday's win, but perhaps the one which made the biggest impact was goalie Olivia Lynch who stood on her head making great save after great save during the final two minutes to keep the Mounties lead intact.

The Mounties had lead 6-3 at the end of the first half and West Essex looked flat and out of sorts. MHS was able to gash the defense repeatedly and been effective at shutting down the Knights' offensive charges, often reversing possession and heading the other direction for a goal.

West Essex came out fired up in the second half, though, and scored on back to back possessions. They then added a third with 14:22 left in the second half and coach Ann Jennings took a timeout to get her team back on track.

It seemed to work and the Mounties came out of that break focused. Jill Jennings made the score 8-6, and then after West Essex found the net again, Nanatte Walls-Tarver scored on an assist from Nora Giordano.

Then it was Lynch's turn to step up, which she did, stonewalling the Knights on several good shots.The Mounties now have a league game against a Saddle River on Monday, then face Glen Ridge in the finals on Saturday.

The two met in the opening week of the season, with Glen Ridge coming out ahead 16-10.

It's likely the Mounties will be looking for a little bit of payback.

For complete coverage of the victory against West Essex, check out Thursday’s edition of the Montclair Local.