Archive for April 17, 2012
Today’s Game of the Day
Ellicott City Mount Hebron (Md.) at Ellicott City Marriott’s Ridge (Md.)
With a state championship a year ago, Marriott’s Ridge vaulted itself into the elite programs in the United States. But that championship season wasn’t without struggle; indeed, last year’s only loss was to crosstown rival Mount Hebron. The rematch today should be something special.
While many eyes are going to be on Brooklandville, Md. this weekend — especially when Laxpower No. 1 McDonogh takes on No. 2 Garden City this Saturday 5 p.m., there is another old-time derby match that bears watching.
The game: Moorestown (N.J.) against Medford Lakes Shawnee (N.J.). These two old rivals predate the current NJSIAA tournament structure, and have been rivals since the latter opened in 1970.
These teams have usually met in the state final when the tournament was an all-comers event, with every New Jersey lacrosse team in a single pool. No group final, no north-south matchup.
But now that the number of teams in the state (including private schools) has ballooned to 188, you now have the regional and group tournaments at the end of the season. Despite the overwhelming likelihood that the two teams would meet each other in the Group III South bracket, the head coaches — Deanna Knobloch of Moorestown and Marisa McCormick — still schedule each other in order to prepare for the postseason.
There is inherent risk in this approach: do you want to show everything you have in that regular-season matchup, knowing that the opposition will gear up for the rematch if you were to win?
Then again, both coaches know that there’s no winning, no success without risk.
Which should make this a compelling prequel to a meeting in the state tournament.