by Andrew Garda

The Montclair High School Girl’s lacrosse team advanced in the Essex County tournament with a massive 20-4 win over Livingston on Monday. They now wait for the result from Tuesday's battle between West Essex and Mount Kimblerley Academy to see who they face on Saturday.

While the score ended up lopsided, the first half was much tighter, as Livingston kept pace with the Mounties. MHS kept a cushion of several goals throughout the half, though, leading by a score of 9-5 when sophomore Maddie Crane scored her first goal as a Mountie with just under 11 minutes left.

After that, it was all Montclair as the Mounties defense began to shut down Livingston's attackers, while the offense poured it on. The Mounties blanked the Lancers completely in the second half with the help of some excellent goaltending by junior Olivia Lynch.

When the Mounties weren't clogging the lanes and keeping Livingston from getting a good look at the net, they were gashing the Lancers defense with quick passes and sharp cuts.

Once the game was well in hand, Montclair shifted tactics on offense. Rather than pile on Livingston further, the Mounties killed the clock by slowing down the tempo and passing the ball around. There were still occasional shots taken and goals scored, but it was clear head coach Ann Jennings felt there was no need to continue pressing offensively.

Before the team faces their next opponent in the Essex County Tournament on Saturday, they have to get through a league game against Norther Highlands on Thursday. The Mounties want to win, but Jennings said most importantly they need to come out of the game healthy.

For all the details on the 20-4 victory over Livingston, check out this Thursday's edition of the Montclair Local.