MORRIS KNOLLS, NJ - The Verona Girls Lacrosse Team has hit an early season stride after an 16-11 victory over Morris Knolls gives the team their second win in as many games.
“Its always good to start off the season with wins, it gets momentum going and boosts the confidence of the team,” said Senior Ava Anderson.
Verona was off to a good start thanks to Ava Anderson and a host of other scorers. Anderson scored three of the teams first six goals for the Lady Hillbillies in route to a seven-goal performance for the afternoon. The senior has dominated early scoring 15 goals in the first two games thus far.
“I’m not that shy going to goal. If I see that the net is open and I have a good shot I’m going to take it, especially when they foul and I get a free position,” said Anderson.
For Verona, it was a feeling out process that took some time, but once they understood their opponent there was no stopping them from victory.
“I think our transition worked nice today. Once we were able to figure out the draw we were able to figure out what was going to work and so once we were able to get some draw controls, get the ball down and our transition worked well,”said Head Coach Suzanne Giarrusso.
Despite the good start Morris Knolls was able to rebound against Verona getting the game as close as 6-5 midway through the first half. After some regrouping mentally Verona bounced back with goals from Anderson and Dana Pena. The duo helped the Lady Hillbillies to an 8-5 halftime lead.
“Once we were able to slow them down a little bit and we slowed down a little bit offensively and gave everybody a breath I think it was great…we focused on playing smart and getting those good passes off,” said Giarrusso.
Verona continued to excel in the second half adding eight more goals. The second half saw two additional goals from Dana Pena, who finished with five for the contest. Ava Anderson, Maggie Lonsinger and Julia Mackey joined Pena in sending Morris Knolls onto their third loss of the season.
“[At the half] I told the girls we just have to go hard, that this game wasn’t over. They were taking advantage of every mistake that we made, they are a good team so every time we didn’t slide or pick up the girl they were taking advantage of it so we have to go hard,” said Giarrusso.
Verona is now 2-0 on the young season gaining momentum and confidence by the game. The Lady Hillbillies will look to continue their winning streak as they head to Millburn on Friday who have one win and two losses on the year.
“We’re going to have to keep going hard every game and not give up and not overlook any opponent…take every game for what it is and keep chugging along,” said Giarrusso.