Montclair Kimberley girls lacrosse targeting division championships in spring of 2023
The Montclair Kimberley girls lacrosse team might have lost one of the top players in New Jersey to graduation, but the Cougars are ready with what they believe is a more potent lineup this spring.
Patricia Columbia-Walsh, who is at the University of Pennsylvania this season, put it all together last year with 67 goals and 47 assists, and was an All New Jersey selection.
But head coach Chelsea Goss has the rest of her top players returning when they host Verona on April 3 (4 p.m.) to start the season.
The team is led by two juniors, Orly Sedransk and Aeryn Curren, who were both named to the North Jersey Interscholastic Girls Lacrosse League Freedom South first team for their work as sophomores. They also were pegged for the All Super Essex Conference American Division first and second teams, respectively.
With two seasons in goal, Sedransk looks to take another step to help the Cougars go further this spring. She allowed slightly under eight goals per game and is a presence in the back.
"Orly is a junior captain for us this year and has been such an incredible leader of not only the defense but of the entire team," Goss said. "She is a very vocal player, and she does an excellent job of helping our younger players to learn our defense."
On the other side of the field, Curren is expected to increase a couple of ladders in scoring with the graduation of Columbia-Walsh. Curren collected 57 goals and 11 assists last season.
"Aeryn stepped up as a leader last year and has continued to do so as a junior," Goss said. "She has come into this season in great shape and has been working hard on her offensive game over the off-season. She is definitely going to be a go-to player for us all over the field."
Another top returning player is senior Caroline Murphy, who was third on the 2022 MKA team with 25 goals; more is expected from her this season. Murphy was on the All SEC American second team and made the All NJIGLL Freedom South honorable-mention list.
"Caroline is a senior captain and is one of the hardest-working players on the team," Goss said. "She sets such a high bar for her teammates, and they all strive to meet her there. She has been a standout this preseason, and I expect her to do the same on the field once our season starts."
In front of Sedransk on defense is the Cougars’ top defender, junior Ava Moore, who was pegged for the All NJIGLL Freedom South second team and also made the All SEC American honorable-mention list.
"Ava will continue to do big things for us on the defensive end of the field this season," the coach said. "She is a reliable defender who works well in the team defense but is also a solid one-v-one defender. Her confidence and skill continue to grow each season, and she has been excellent in practice."
While MKA remains in the NJIGLL Freedom South Division, it moves out of the top division in the SEC, the American, into the Liberty Division with the likes of Columbia, Mount St. Dominic, Livingston and Cedar Grove. Based on the number of All SEC players returning this season, MKA will most likely have to beat out Mount St. Dominic for the Liberty crown.
The move down could bring home a division title. "I think we have the ability to win our SEC division, and we always have really competitive games against the teams in the American Division and hope to see them all in the ECT," Goss said. MKA plays American teams Verona, West Essex and Caldwell this season.
Montclair Kimberley is also one of the favorites to win the NJIGLL Freedom South Division. The Cougars finished third last year behind winner Kent Place, which moves into Stars and Stripes South, and second-place New Providence, possibly the team to beat for MKA.
Montclair Kimberley girls lacrosse
(Games at 4 p.m. unless noted)
April 3 Verona
April 8 Mahwah, 11 a.m.
April 11 at Madison
April 13 Columbia
April 15 at West Essex, TBA
April 19 Caldwell
April 21 at Cranford
April 25 Prep B Tournament, TBD
April 26 at Kent Place
April 28 Livingston
April 29 at Cedar Grove, 10 a.m.
May 9 Prep B Tournament, TBD
May 10 at Scotch Plains-Fanwood
May 11 Prep B Tournament, TBD
May 12 New Providence, 4:30 p.m.
May 16 at Randolph
May 19 at West Morris Central
May 22 Mt. St. Dominic
May 31 State Tournament, TBD
June 3 State Tournament, TBD
June 6 State Tournament, TBD