CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Inexperience playing at the varsity level cost the Cedar Grove Girls Lacrosse Team their first loss in program’s history on Saturday afternoon against The Academy of St. Elizabeth by a final score of 12-8.

 “We’re a new program so there’s going to be some growing pains there are things we’re going to need to work on,” said Head Coach Sean Sweeney.

The Panthers got off to a good start tying the game at three midway through the first half. Tracy Moreno, and Bethany Peterson combined to give Cedar Grove the lead over the vastly more experienced St. Elizabeth squad.

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For Cedar Grove, Moreno and Peterson have each started the season strong collecting goals in their first two games. Moreno ended up with two for the contest giving her the team lead on the season.

“We’ve got some good young kids. We’ve got Moreno, Taylor St. Laurent and Bethany Peterson [among others]…there’s definitely a good outlook for the future,” said  Sweeney.

Ultimately St. Elizabeth would tie up the game using their experienced scorers who have combined for over 150 goals in the previous season. Mia and Bella Ferriso along with Elizabeth Kilgore joined together to send St. Elizabeth on a seven goal scoring run that started with five minutes left in the first half and did not end until six minutes remained in the game to spell the end for Cedar Grove.

“I feel like at parts of the game we weren’t playing the way we wanted to play the game and that’s something that comes with a young team,” said Sweeney.

Despite the offensive struggles, which Sweeney attributed to a lack of cohesion in understanding the system, the team’s defense was fairly effective. Goaltender Jackie Downs was superb making over a dozen saves to keep Cedar Grove in the contest as long as possible.

“She stepped up huge today, she’s definitely someone we rely on as far as being a defensive leader and she steps up all the time,” said Sweeney.

For Cedar Grove the loss drops the team to 1-1 on the season, but they take solace in knowing they have been improving day by day.

“Our goal right now is to be competitive every game and go out with the mindset that you want to win the game. That being said I don’t know where we’re going to finish up as far as record wise, but I think we have a lot of good things going on for where we are right now,” said Sweeney

Cedar Grove will head to Newark Academy on Tuesday looking to continue their development and growth.