BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- The previously undefeated Ridge girls lacrosse team faced one of its toughest tests of the season so far, dropping an 8-7 decision to once-beaten Hillsborough on the hottest afternoon of the spring Saturday.
Junior midfielder Taylor Smith finished with five goals, six ground balls and four draw controls for Ridge (6-1), which rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 in the first half.
Skyland Conference opponent Hillsborough (7-1) scored the game's first three goals between the 21:00 and the 14:00 mark of the first half before Smith put the Red Devils on the board with her first goal with 12:05 left in the half. After Hillsborough scored again for a 4-1 lead, Smith countered with another goal with 6:16 to go in the half.
Ridge fought back to tie the game by halftime. Allie Byrne flicked one in with 4:26 left in the half, then Grace Kirkwood's goal with 1:58 showing in the half knotted the game, 4-4.
Smith scored all three of Ridge's second-half goals. Bailey Aaron contributed an assist for Ridge and she also had four draw controls. Olivia Pikiell was second on Ridge in ground balls with three. Gabriella Vangeli led Hillsborough with three goals.
After road games next Tuesday and Saturday against North Hunterdon and Moorestown, Ridge's next home game is April 23 against Skyland Conference rival Bridgewater-Raritan.