Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/30/20
New Jersey’s McKenzie Blake (Haddonfield) said all three teams were even Thursday and Friday at the All America Underclass East Super Regional at MapleZone Sports Village.
But the key for New Jersey was teamwork and camaraderie.
“The competition was pretty even throughout both of the days, but I think our teamwork honestly gave us the edge,” said Blake, whose team defeated CONNY, 11-8, for the championship. “I think the key to success for our team was our team chemistry.
“A lot of us have played together in other tournaments and our personalities just mesh together really well on the field. Our team was made up of a lot of hardworking and determined girls, which also always helps.”
Blake, a 2021 midfielder committed to the admissions process at Princeton, was an All-Tourney pick for New Jersey. Jersey advances to the national championships, tentatively slated for Oct. 17-18 at Virginia Beach, VA.
CONNY defeated Team Philly, 12-9, to reach the finals. In both round robin matchups, New Jersey edged CONNY by one goal, 8-7, and 7-6.
For Blake, the crown was a much-needed lift. She missed the second half (and the school’s second straight Group II state title run) of her sophomore year at Haddonfield after tearing her ACL. Then, of course, she missed her junior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said it did give her more time to rehab and strengthen the knee. She competed in one summer tournament for Philly-based HHH and is excited to move forward.
“Recovering from no season has been hard – especially since my injury sophomore year,” she said. “I think a lot of girls have just been focusing on training on their own and getting some reps in when they can find an open field.
“It’s been interesting for sure, but my club team has had a few training sessions and scrimmages within our club teams. We also had play days where a few either former club players or any local college players would help us out and have our own tournaments.”
Girls Highlight All Tournament Team
Name Number Team
Shea Dolce 23 CONNY
McKenzie Blake (Haddonfield) 14 New Jersey
Marissa White (Agnes Irwin) 15 Philly
Chase Boyle 19 New Jersey
Kaylee Dyer (Penn Charter) 14 Philly
Shira Parower 6 CONNY
Samantha Forest 20 CONNY
Kathleen Montalto (Manasquan) 22 New Jersey
Heather Clark 5 CONNY
Olivia Pikiell 20 New Jersey
Jordyn Lipkin 8 New Jersey MVP
Isabelle Casucci 19 CONNY