Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

10 Things to Watch in Bergen County Girls Lacrosse Tournament

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

10 Things to Watch in Bergen County Girls Lacrosse Tournament

Article excerpt

The 2016 Bergen County girls lacrosse tournament will begin this week, with first-round games needing to be played by Thursday and second-round contests to follow on Saturday. No. 1 Ridgewood enters as the 11-time reigning champion. The semifinals will be hosted by Immaculate Heart on May 4, and the final will be May 7 at Mahwah.

1. Will the Ridgewood dynasty continue?

The Maroons once again are widely regarded as the favorite, and recently knocked off a pair of reigning group state champions in Moorestown and Oak Knoll. Alex Absey (29 goals) and Lillie Kloak (21) have emerged as Ridgewood's top scorers. Hannah Cermack (17 goals, 20 assists) continues as one of the team's top facilitators, and Katie Bourque (17 goals, seven assists, 19 ground balls) remains one of the best all-around players in North Jersey.

2. Will the Saddle River Day-Immaculate Heart matchup come to fruition?

The two non-public programs were scheduled to meet earlier this season, but rain postponed the much-anticipated matchup. The second- seeded Blue Eagles - led by Christine Weber - could meet the third- seeded Rebels - led by Dani McMahon - in the semifinals.

3. Northern Highlands could get another shot at Ridgewood.

The Highlanders reached the final last year for the first time in program history after thrilling, comeback victories over Saddle River Day and IHA. Northern Highlands fell in the title game to the Maroons, 16-2. With the Highlanders being the No. 4 seed this season, the potential for the Julia Bradbury and Julia Pash-led team to see the top seed in this year's semifinals is there.

4. But not if Mahwah has a say in the matter ...

The fifth-seeded Thunderbirds are 10-2, with only a pair of two- goal losses to West Morris Central and Sparta. With 62 goals, Kelly Pushie is among the state leaders, while Taylor Herrmann - with 50 goals and 39 assists - is equally as dangerous. Mahwah also features Casey Doran on the back end, and she is an athletic defender capable of shutting down another team's top scorer. Mahwah could see Northern Highlands in the quarterfinals.

5. Keep an eye on ...

The speed of the Ridgewood defense, particularly when clearing the ball on runs from Hailey Ricciardi, Riley Ricciardi and Quinn Daly. …

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