LIVINGSTON, NJ - Start spreading the news, a champion has officially been crowned in the NJIGLL Independence conference.

The New Providence girls’ lacrosse team clinched their second South Division title in three years with an 11-6 victory over Independence Conference rival Newark Academy on Thursday.

“I’m just so proud of the all the girls on the team and so happy to be conference champs,” New Providence coach Jennifer Henry said. “Our goal from the start of the season was to win this division, and I’m so proud of these girls achieving that goal today.”

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After starting out the year 4-2, New Providence went 2-4 in their next six games, while losing a couple of key players to injuries.

“We have had a lot of obstacles that we had to overcome recently,” Henry said. “We have had some injuries to key players, lost some tough games that we could have won, but we kept fighting and we pushed through to today to reach the goal we set out for ourselves at the beginning of the season.”

Even through a tough stretch that included losing in the first round of the Union County tournament to Cranford, the Pioneers still knew they controlled their own destiny and came out Thursday ready to secure it.

From the get go, New Providence controlled the game. Less than 5 minutes in, the Pioneers took a 1-0 lead and never looked back.

Leading the way was senior Emily Molstad, who played in her first game since sustaining a stress fracture injury to her knee in the beginning of the season.

“It felt great to finally to get back out there and play,” Molstad said. “I have just been waiting and practicing to get the chance to get back on the field, and I’m so happy I was able to play in this game and help my team win a division championship.”

Molstad scored three of her game-high four goals in the first half, and had a game-high two assists.

Leading 7-3 coming out of halftime, the Pioneers offense kept attacking the net. New Providence out-scored Newark Academy 3-1 to start off the second half, and then cruised the rest of the way to victory.

“It’s feels so good to be conference champs,” senior midfielder Ashley Darling said. “As a senior it’s such an awesome feeling to leave as a conference champion and I am just so proud of this team and what we have been able to accomplish so far this season.” 

With the win the Pioneers improve to 7-6 on the season. New Providence has two more games left in the regular season, before they start state tournament play.

The first of those games will be on Senior Day, this Saturday at home against Pascack Valley. Face-off is set to start at 10 a.m.