Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 1, 2015 — A busy month begins with a busy week

This site is going to be on the go for the month of June with the start of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the National Futures Tournament, and the semifinals of the FIH World League which could qualify the United States women’s field hockey team into the 2016 Olympics.

But let’s make sure we don’t give short shrift to the few states who have not crowned state champions in girls’ lacrosse. And, of course, the one state which plays down its state champions into an ultimate winner.

That state is New Jersey, which will crown a Tournament of Champions winner this Saturday evening at Kean University. The teams competing for that trophy are Group II champion Moorestown (N.J.), Group IV champion Ridgewood (N.J.), Group I champion Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), and Group III Summit (N.J.).

Taken as a whole, the field for this year’s Tournament of Champions is yet another indicator of the enormous change in the landscape of the sport in the Garden State. The power and influence in the state’s girls’ lacrosse universe used to be exclusively south of Interstate 195; for the boys, the reverse was true.

But after 1993, a number of schools that had powerful boys’ lacrosse teams added girls’ lacrosse programs. Ridgewood is a prime example of a community which has been able to empower its female lacrosse players and bring them to a high level in a hurry.

This year saw the Maroons challenge the other 2015 champions during a 14-day stretch in April. In that fortnight, Ridgewood beat Oak Knoll 13-10, beat Summit 9-8, then defeated Moorestown 11-10 after extra time.

It’s an impressive tournament resume, for sure. But months of preparation need to be focused into 60 minutes on Wednesday in the Tournament of Champions semifinal.

As much as Ridgewood has to be favored to be the sole survivor this Saturday, there’s another team which could be the surprise package.

That team is Oak Knoll. Featuring many of the same players which took the Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) field hockey team to within an inch of its life last fall, the Royals lacrosse team has played splendidly in recent outings. It’s a team to watch.


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