By Andrew Garda

Opening games don't get much tougher than a game against Glen Ridge, as the Montclair Mounties Girls lacrosse team found out in a 16-10 loss to open the 2017 season.

"It's always tough to open against a good team like that," coach Ann Jennings said after the game. "It's always a competitive game between the two of us."

Glen Ridge came out hard, scoring early and often to start the game, finding the net on nearly every trip into MHS territory. Goalie Olivia Lynch tried her best to stem the tide, but couldn't stop every shot. The Ridgers found ways to cut through the Montclair defense despite that unit's best efforts.

"Unfortunately we got off to a slow start where we got possession but didn't make that goal. Then we had two goals which just trickled in off our keeper, which was unfortunate. We lost a little steam there, they scored a few more goals. It's hard to come back from an eight goal deficit."

Despite being down eight goals off the bat, the Mounties showed a lot of heart. By halftime, they had clawed back into the game, trailing just 10-6. When play resumed they kept  momentum, scoring first and keeping the pressure on Glen Ridge. The Ridgers wouldn't be denied, though and it seemed like for every goal Montclair scored, Glen Ridge responded with one of their own.

In the waning minutes of the game, MHS seemed to wear down, with Glen Ridge scoring twice to seal the game.

Jennings said that despite the loss, the team adjusted well. Coming off just three scrimmages due to the weather, the Mounties seem to have a little more rust on them then might normally.

Another positive note to be taken from the loss was the way the expected leaders stepped up.  On offense, Jill Jennings and Nora Giordano led the way with two three goals apiece, while Natalie Rechan and Olivia Rivera each scored twice. Sam Wittman was a solid presence on defense as well.

"I think they definitely led the team well," Jennings said of her core players. "Again, it's just fine tuning stuff, which I'm confident we will and keep moving along."

Montclair will have to make those adjustments quickly as they face Mendham on Friday and head to Ridgewood on Monday.