BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston girls lacrosse team put together back to back conference wins this weekend which secured the school's first ever NJIGLL- Colonial South Conference Title.
On Friday night in Millburn the Lady Highlanders, behind Stephanie Dowling’s four goals and goalie Caitlyn Tighe's 9 saves, defeated the Millers 9-6, who were previously undefeated in conference play.
The next day, they rolled over Union Catholic, 21-8, with Lindsay and Elena Gerrato each scoring six times and Stephanie Dowling adding five goals of her own.
The two wins raised their season record to 12-5 and kept them unbeaten in conference play at 6-0.
"The girls knew the importance of Friday's game," said Gov. Livingston Coach Aileen Musynske. "With last year's game in mind and with the goals we had set for our season, everyone knew what was at stake and what was on the line. As seen from the very first whistle, there was a lot of heart and intensity shown throughout the full fifty minutes."
There were two set backs to the game: Gerrato got her second yellow card halfway through the first half and Julia Gilpin received a second yellow card with 16 minutes remaining in the game.
"The girls didn't back down for a minute. Meryl Schaffer, who had never taken the draw before, took it for the remainder of the game and came up with numerous huge plays on the draw, and on the defensive and offensive end," said Musynske. "The attack continued to score, despite being double teamed and playing man down on the offensive end, clearly displaying heart to come up with the win."
Although Millburn managed to score four goals, it's a huge feat for a defense to hold a team to such a small number for a significant amount of time playing man down.
"To say the very least, I couldn't be more proud of the team for their efforts Friday," said Musynske. "They played a full fifty minutes, were relentless in their efforts, and for the first time in GL history, they get to call themselves conference champions."
Following the Millburn game, the Lady Highlanders traveled to Union Catholic on Saturday morning and completely overwhelmed the Lady Vikings. After taking a convincing 12-4 half time lead, they added 9 more scores in the second half which accounted for their highest scoring game (21) of the season.
In addition to the Gerrato sisters' 12 goals, Riley Jankowski and Julia Gilpin scored two goals apiece. Stephanie Dowling’s five goals raised her total for the weekend to 9.
The Lady Highlanders will host neighborhood rival New Providence on Monday (5 p.m. at Snyder Park) and will be waiting the official state tournament seedings which will be released later Monday evening.