MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville girls lacrosse team is ready to finally be back on the field.

With a pair of big-time senior scorers in the fold in Maddy Kelly and Julia Bruno, along with defender Julia Kelly, the Mustangs are excited for what is to come in the 2021 season, after missing all of last year. It is all set to open up the new year on Wednesday, April 21 when it hosts Morristown-Beard at 4 p.m.

"We are thrilled to be back on the field, and we are looking to return to fundamentals and enjoy playing the game again," Montville coach Julia Happe said. "We know that this season will throw us curveballs, so we are planning to face them together as a team, to give many different people the opportunity to step up, and to be competitive in every game we are in. The seniors are especially motivated to make the most of this season, and all of the players have come in ready to work, ready to learn, and excited to play."

When it last took the field in 2019, Montville went through an up-and-down 9-10 season, in which many of its losses were very close and competitive, and the team felt good about taking a big step forward in 2020.

Unfortunately it never got that opportunity, after last season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite that, it feels that there are still good things to come this year.

"Last year was definitely a year we were excited about, and we definitely suffered some losses in the 2020 graduating class," Happe said. "However, we can’t control what happened last year, so we are excited and looking forward to what this season will bring. This season, we have a great group of seniors and juniors who have been committed to working on their game in the off-season, and a really solid group of hardworking, coachable, determined freshmen and sophomores who we think will step up and fill some big roles."

The team is expected to be led by Maddy Kelly in the midfield, who tallied 64 goals and 8 assists for the team in 2019. Bruno will be another centerpiece of the team's scoring, after putting up 30 goals and 16 assists. 

The attack will include senior Julia Demetropoulos and freshman Briar Failla. The midfield includes junior Bella Mangano, who posted 15 goals and 12 assists as a freshman, along with junior Sam Keezer, junior Gina Marotta, sophomore Jenna Iervolino, and sophomore Savannah Olsson.

Defensively, Julia Kelly will lead the way after causing 45 turnovers and picking up 80 ground balls in 2019 as a sophomore. Senior Henna Kim, senior Maria Papera, sophomore Katie Gorski, freshman Ava Custode, and freshman Kyra Fall are all expected to play a role on the back end as well. Junior Kylie Warsaw is expected to be the team's goalie.

It will face some tough competition in the Freedom North division, after playing in the Freedom South in 2019, where it went 2-5 in the division. It will take on the likes of Morris Knolls, Morristown-Beard, Mount Olive, Randolph, Roxbury, Sparta and West Morris. 

It opens on Wednesday against Morristown-Beard, before hosting Kent Place on Saturday, April 24 at 10 a.m.

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