Montclair High School girls LAX takes aim at Verona, Montclair Kimberley falls in ECT
The Montclair girls lacrosse team took another step toward reaching another Essex County Tournament with a convincing win over Columbia on May 2.
The Mounties are aiming to get back to the ECT title game, where they lost a heartbreaking 8-7 verdict at West Essex in the 2022 ECT championship.
The second-seeded Montclair squad moved an inch closer to that goal with a 19-9 victory over seventh-seeded Columbia on May 2 at Woodman Field in Montclair. The Mounties host third-seeded Verona on Thursday, May 4, at 4:30 p.m. at Woodman Field.
A town over, fifth-seeded Montclair Kimberley girls lacrosse was no match for fourth-seeded Glen Ridge, 14-4, in another ECT quarterfinal contest. The Cougars are still in the Prep B Tournament as the second seed. MKA hosts third-seeded Morristown-Beard at home in a contest tentatively set for May 9 (4 p.m.).
Montclair sophomore Aven Hodgson led the Mounties in scoring with four goals against Columbia while three Montclair players registered three goals each: senior Megan Previdi, junior Lizzy Giordano and senior Meghan Crane. Mounties junior Hannah Saraisky and sophomore Olivia Nicoll added a pair of goals in the onslaught.
For Giordano all the attention is now on third-seeded Verona and not a potential rematch with West Essex in the ECT final. "We're really focused on the next game," Giordano said.
For both Previdi and Giordano, it is a battle of “good friends” against Verona. The Mounties and the Hillbillies have faced each other each year for the last decade, with Montclair dominating the rivalry. The lone victory by Verona in recent memory was last season, 13-12, at Verona.
"As upperclassmen we know a lot of the girls on their team," Giordano said.
Previdi added about facing Verona: "It's a fun game and we know that they will come out super hot," the Montclair senior said.
For the season Montclair's mantra is Locked In. "As we get on the field, we need to lock in and focus," said Previdi, who will be playing lacrosse next spring at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
Giordano, who already is pegged to play lacrosse at Villanova University, said the saying is printed on shirts that the team wears.
It was about this time last season that the Montclair girls lacrosse team started to generate victories and the Mounties hope that history repeats itself in that regard.
Montclair had a tough time early in the 2023 season with three straight losses. "I think starting off losing to three of the top teams in the state was real difficult," said junior Lizzy Giordano, who believes that it will help them in the end.
Previdi said the tough schedule will help the team reach its target. "Playing in the county final is one of our big goals," she said.
Against Columbia, Montclair dominated the first half, especially the last 15 minutes when the Mounties registered seven goals to grab a 10-4 lead.
"We talked about keeping the momentum going," Giordano said about the halftime talk.
But an extension of the momentum in the second half was delayed.
Columbia would turn the tables on Montclair at least in the first three minutes, slicing the Mounties’ lead to three, 10-7.
But Giordano and Previdi righted the ship. Previdi scored a pair of goals and Giordano chipped in a goal as Montclair put some distance between themselves and the Cougars with a 13-7 lead.
Columbia did make another comeback with a pair of goals in the next couple of minutes to slice the Mounties’ lead to 13-9, causing Montclair head coach Kim Kolodny to call a timeout with a little more than 11 minutes left in the contest.
The timeout did the trick. The Mounties scored the final six goals to put away Columbia and move closer to the county finals.
In Montclair Kimberley's loss to Glen Ridge, the Cougars stayed with the Ridgers for the first half, down only 5-3 at halftime.
But everything came tumbling down in the second half as Montclair Kimberley was outscored 9-1.
Cougars junior Aeryn Curren led MKA in scoring with a pair of goals. Senior Siena Davis and freshman Maggie Murphy added a goal each for Montclair Kimberley.