MAHWAH — The Ridgewood High School girls lacrosse team left no doubt as to who reigns supreme in Bergen County.
The top-seeded Maroons played arguably their most dominant game of the season, defeating No. 3 Immaculate Heart, 18-3, in the Bergen tournament final last Saturday at Mahwah High School.
"We came out on fire," said RHS midfielder Kelci Smesko, who recorded a hat trick. "I'm so proud of everyone for how they played. It was just a balanced team effort, from our goalie play, to our defense, to the midfield, to the attack. We just dominated."
"I felt like we were just proving to everyone that we are still the best in the county," said senior defender Courtney Tarleton.
Ridgewood jumped out to a 12-0 halftime lead and scored 17 goals before IHA could answer with 11 minutes to go.
This was a far cry from the regular-season meeting between the rivals that took place April 23. That day, Ridgewood trailed the Blue Eagles by six at halftime, before scoring 11 goals in the second half to win, 12-9.
"It feels amazing, especially because of our last game against IHA," said the speedy Lauren Beausoleil, who also recorded a hat trick. "I think we just showed them what we're made and how we can play."
"We were pumped up for this game," Smesko said. "We came out on fire. We wanted it. That definitely showed. We definitely didn't want a close game. We didn't want to have to make a comeback. We wanted to stay perfect in Bergen County.
"It was a big win for us," she added.
The Maroons, undefeated all-time in Bergen County tournament play, improved to 17-2 and won their eighth straight title – the fifth in a row over IHA (7-11) – thanks in part to a balanced attack that featured 10 different scorers.
Besides Smeko and Beausoleil, senior Kaitlin Concilio also tallied a hat trick. Sophomores Devon Maltz and Katie Smesko each scored two goals, while Maggie Carver (game-high four assists), Darby Kiernan, Kelly McBrearty, Bridget McElroy and Charlotte Morley all found the back of the net.
"This really shows the team chemistry out there, and the heart and their hard work throughout the season," Ridgewood head coach Karla Mixon said. "I'm very proud of them. They were able to keep the tradition going."
"Its such a good feeling," Beausoleil said. "I'm really proud of everyone – our transition, our defense. [Junior goalie] Zoe [Ferguson] did amazing [seven saves]."
The win over IHA came on the heels of a 15-10 loss to undefeated state power Moorestown (19-0) two days prior.
"To be honest," Tarleton said, "I think all of us forgot about [that loss] by Saturday. No need to focus on that game. We knew Saturday was what really mattered."
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