Monroe’s girls lacrosse team, led by Coach Carly Welsh, won the Greater Middlesex Conference tournament with a 15-8 victory over Old Bridge High School on May 15, 2017.
Monroe entered the tournament as the third seed behind North Brunswick (2) and Old Bridge (1). Monroe had a record of 10-6 and were ready to accomplish their number one goal this season – to be the first Monroe girls lacrosse team to win the GMC finals.
Last year, the Falcons made an appearance in the 2016 finals. The game was set against the number one seed, North Brunswick. The Falcons fell to the Raiders with a final score of 21-12. This year, the Falcons were ready to avenge that loss.
Junior goalie Julianna Palmer said, “This was the year for us and we knew it from the beginning. We are a family whose chemistry is so strong on and off the field. Also, the immense confidence we have in one another is so important. Together we have an amazing defense, midfield and attack, and when we play as one, we are unstoppable.”
The road to the championship was not easy for the Falcons. In the first round, Monroe beat sixth seed South Plainfield 21-6. In that game, senior attacker Kara Turco scored four goals and recorded her 400th career point, which is a combination of goals and assists. Juniors Ashley Patten and Paige Gandy both contributed to the win, adding three apiece to the scoreboard.
Continuing on into the tournament, Monroe faced the second seeded North Brunswick, which many agreed that it would be the toughest game of the season. After facing a tough 18-13 loss in the regular season, Monroe was hungry for revenge in the semi-final round of the tournament.
Monroe had an amazing warmup, leading to outstanding gameplay to beat North Brunswick 10-7.
Turco found Patten early in the game to add two goals to the scoreboard within eight minutes, and finished with three goals. Senior midfielder Courtney Frycz added two goals, along with sophomore midfielder Liz Skobelev, who added one onto the scoreboard. Monroe was said to be “peaking at the best time.”
Going into the finals, Monroe played number one seed Old Bridge, who was also the in-conference undefeated team.
After netting five early goals, Monroe found their momentum. The game was intense, but Monroe came out with a 15-8 win. Attackers Turco and senior Leslie Lane added two goals apiece to the score, along with Frycz scoring one goal. In goal, Palmer had eight saves.
Senior captain Jenna Cutrone said, “At the sound of the last whistle, everyone was ecstatic. From the players on the field to the parents and fans on the bleachers, there was electricity erupting all across the field. This was one of the best feelings in the world, and considering that we [the team] are like a family, it made it so much sweeter for all of us. I am glad this team made history in my last year of high school lacrosse.”
Have you been following the girls lacrosse team this season? If so, what makes you proud to be a Falcon?