By Pat White
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/5/13
LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Marie McCool had four goals and an assist and Jess Dadino scored twice as Moorestown defeated Oak Knoll, 12-5, today in the New Jersey Tournament of Champions girls’ lacrosse semifinals at Monmouth University.
The win advanced the Quakers (24-0) into the finals Saturday when they will play arch-rival Shawnee at Kean University at 7:30 p.m.
Moorestown, ranked No. 1 by Phillylacrosse.com and No. 3 by TopLaxRecruits.com, is the defending T of C champion. The Quakers, the Group 3 champs, improved to 24-0 and have won 50 straight games; one of those victories was an 8-4 triumph over Shawnee a month ago.
Group 4 champion Shawnee (19-2) advanced with a 13-12 overtime win over Summit earlier at Monmouth.
“I think our team is playing really well, but we are not playing up to our highest potential and hopefully that happens Saturday,” said McCool. “I have experience of not coming out on top as a freshman (when Moorestown fell to Ridgewood, 10-9, in the final) and also (of winning) last year. That was the best feeling ever and I just want to feel that again.”
Moorestown coach Deanna Knobloch praised the defensive play of Megan Kelly and the goaltending of Shannon Keeler (11 saves).
“Shannon Keeler played phenomenal in goal,” she said. “I can only hope she has the same performance on Saturday.”
Knobloch said South Jersey lacrosse gets a boost by having two teams in the finals.
“I think it’s awesome for the sport and incredible for South Jersey in general,” she said. “Moorestown-Shawnee is a great rivalry.”
“It’s a huge rivalry,” added McCool. “We don’t hate them, but when we’re playing them it’s always a hard fought game.
“We’re excited to play each other. It’s exciting. We have everything to lose. We are the reigning champs; we just need to go hard and play our best.”
Moorestown led, 7-3, at halftime, and stretched the lead to 9-3 on goals by Dadino and Kierstyn Voiro (one goals, two assists) as the Group 1 champion Royals (17-6) never got closer than five goals.
Margaret Nissen added a goal and two assists for the Quakers.
Moorestown 12, Oak Knoll 5
Moorestown 7 5–12
Oak Knoll 3 2 –5
Marie McCool 4 goals, 1 assist
Jessica Dadino 2 goals
Margaret Nissen 1 goal, 2 assists
Frankie Angeleri 1 goal
Kierstyn Voiro 1 goal, 2 assists
Alecia Geiter 1 goal
Mary Flick 1 goal
Melanie Becker 1 goal
Shannon Keeler 11 saves
Kiwi Comizio 1 goal
Morgan Ryan 1 goal
Hayley Shaffer 1 goal
Claire Cagnasola 1 goal, 1 assist
Allison Sayia 1 goal
Ryan McCarthy 6 saves