By Anthony Caruso
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/28/14
MOORESTOWN, N.J. – West Windsor-Plainsboro North head coach Beth Mitchell returned to familiar grounds today.
Mitchell returned to the Moorestown girls’ lacrosse field, where she previously served as an assistant coach under Quakers head coach Deanna Knobloch. The two head coaches are close friends, but on this day Knobloch’s Quakers pulled away for an 18-8 win in a battle of unbeaten teams.
“Beth is my best friend over there,” said Coach Knobloch. “She was my assistant for 8-9 years, and was our JV (Junior Varsity) coach for a while. It’s not easy to play them, and it’s very bittersweet.”
The two head coaches also hugged each other after the game. It also looked like Knobloch was brought to tears, as well, after the hug.
“Of course, we want to win,” said Coach Knobloch. “But we wanted to them to play well, too.”
The Quakers – No. 1 in the Phillylacrosse Rankings and No. 2 in the Brine/TopLaxRecruits North America Rankings – scored the game’s final eight goals and improved to 13-0 for their 64th straight win. No. 14 West Windsor-Plainsboro North fell to 11-1.
“We were excited to play them, and we weren’t scared or intimidated,” said Olivia Harpel (Northwestern signee), who had six goals. “I’m really proud of the girls, and I think we learned a lot from this game.”
Harpel made it 10-8 with back-to-back goals shortly into the second half. But that’s the closest they would get the rest of the game.
“We were able to hang with them,” said Harpel. “As they started to pull away, that’s when our weaknesses started to show. That’s great for us, because those are things that we can learn from.”
Marie McCool (North Carolina signee) scored two of her five goals in the second half. Tristan McGinley, Jess Dadino, Kierstyn Voiro, Lauren Martinelli, and Kayla Pruitt also chipped in goals.
Knobloch praised Harpel.
“She had a lot of eight meter shots and was able to capitalize on them,” said Coach Knobloch. “Good for her in making that happen. By the second half, we decided that we were going to face guard her, yet she still got position. They have a great team, and Olivia is a great player.”
Harpel scored her fourth goal of the game, right as the clock expired to end the first half. That goal ended a streak of three straight goals by Dadino, Quinn Nicolai, and Voiro for the Quakers.
“It was nice to get those goals,” said Voiro. “We came out against Ridgewood (on Saturday) uneasy, so I knew I had to step up and help our team. I am happy that I was able to help my team get this win.”
While Moorestown had others step up throughout the game, the Harpel sisters were the entire offense for the Knights. Younger sister Carli Harpel chipped in two goals.
“Losing stinks,” said Olivia. “But I’m glad to be a part of a team that keeps its head up; we will do better. We’re going to grow from this.”
The Quakers’ Melanie Becker chipped in two first half goals for Moorestown.
“Since Beth played at Moorestown, she knows about this program and the legacy,” said Voiro. “It’s fun playing against West Windsor, and she understands what Moorestown is all about. Unfortunately, somebody has to lose, and it just happened to be their team on this day.”
Melanie Becker 2g
Jess Dadino 2 g
Sydney Dalmass 1g
Lauren Martinelli 2 g
Marie McCool 5g, 2a
Tristan McGinley 1g, 1g
Quinn Nicolai 1g
Adriana Pendino 1a
Kayla Pruitt 1g
Kierstyn Voiro 2g, 3a
Olivia Harpel 6g
Carli Harpel 2g