BORDENTOWN, NJ -- The West Essex field hockey team won its third state championship in the last four years Saturday with a 3-2 victory over Seneca in the Group 2 final.
West Essex (23-1-1) scored the first three goals of the game before withstanding a rally by Seneca, the same team West Essex defeated in last year's final.
Emily Holleufer scored the first goal of the game, her 19th this season, with 8:00 left in the opening half with an assist by Cait Lutz. After clinging to 1-0 halftime lead, West Essex extended to a 2-0 advantage when Lutz connected in the opening minute of the second half.
Gianna Macrino scored with an assist from Gianna Puorro to give the Lady Knights a 3-0 advantage. Although Seneca (16-8) staged a comeback to make it close, West Essex finished with an 18-5 advantage in shots attempted.
Next for West Essex is the opening round of the Tournament of Champions against Eastern High School (Voorhees, N.J.) Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Eastern won the Group 4 championship.