CHATHAM, NJ -- Three goals apiece by Kayleigh Coughlin and Sophie Straka and three goals and an assist from Ashley Kiernan provided the firepower that sent the top-seeded Chatham girls lacrosse team past county rival Mendham, 12-11, for the NJSIAA North Group 3 state championship on Thursday at Haas Field.
Chatham (19-1), winner of 14 straight, held a 12-7 lead before Mendham (13-8) made a late charge. The Cougars will play for the Group 3 state championship vs. Moorestown (16-2), 1 p.m. Saturday at Montgomery.
"Our staff is incredibly proud of our team and program today," Chatham coach Helen McCutcheon Oliver said. "We fought hard in a tough game to beat a talented Mendham team today, for the third time this season. Being our first sectional championship since 2012, and my first as a coach, it feels wonderful to see the girls’ hard work pay off.
"We’ve put ourself on the map from game one and continued to prove our worth in the state. We are excited to make it to the next round and honored to wear Chatham on our jerseys. Our defense came up huge, our attackers generated strong offensive opportunities and our middies fought between the 30s. I’m beaming with pride for this 2021 team."
Chatham seniors Callie Riavov, Sophie Straka and Haley Riabov talk about the win
COUGAR NOTES: The last time Chatham and Moorestown met on the lacrosse field was in 2012 in the Tournament of Champions final. Moorestown won that game, 12-11, to finish 26-0. Chatham ended its 2012 season 23-3, getting 3 goals and an assist apiece from Jaclyn Leto and Mary Kate O'Neill in the TOC final ... Chatham and Moorestown have had one common opponent this season in Oak Knoll. The Cougars defeated Oak Knoll, 8-7, on April 21 and Moorestown lost to Oak Knoll, 15-8, on May 10 ... In 2019, Mendham had defeated Chatham in the county and sectional final and the Cougars returned the favor in 2021 by winning the MCT and North Group 3 finals vs. Mendham.