NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — The dynasty continues for the West Essex field hockey program as the Knights defeated the Montclair Mounties, 4-0, to claim their ninth consecutive Essex County Tournament (ECT) Championship on Saturday.
“I’m honestly so happy that I got to [win a County Title] with this team one more time,” said Team Captain and senior Cameron Kinsella, who has been part of four championship teams. “To do it with these girls is such an honor and it’s such an honor to be part of this program.”
West Essex took a fast start against Montclair and refused to look back. Cait Lutz scored just three minutes and nine seconds into the game for the eventual decisive goal of the contest. The goal was the sophomore’s fifth of the tournament.
“I think we were working together really well,” said Lutz. “We’re playing together really well, everyone is trusting each other...we’re all just going for it. No one is hesitating.”
The Knights continued to pepper the Mounties’ net with shots to the tune of 15 for the first half and 11 first-half corners. They added to their lead with 8:50 remaining when Cameron Kinsella scored off of a corner. It was Kinsella’s third goal in as many games for West Essex.
“I usually don’t get to score that many goals because I’m a midfielder, but to score one today with something we’ve been working on at practice every day on a corner is amazing and I’m proud of myself,” said Kinsella.
The Knights added a third goal to take a commanding lead just before the half. Freshman Gianna Macrino added a goal of her own off a deflection to make it 3-0 with 2:06 left in the half. Macrino scored in both of her ECT games for the Knights this year.
“I think we’re really getting it together team-wise,” said Kinsella. “We’re all individually skillful, but I think now it’s all sort of coming together as well. We all play for each other.”
In a relatively quiet second half, Julianna Tornatore scored the fourth and final goal to cap off the game for the Knights, who had three underclassmen score in the title game.
Ultimately, underclassmen accounted for 11 of the 12 West Essex goals in the ECT.
“We trust everyone,” said Lutz. “It’s not just one person—underclassmen, upperclassmen—it’s all of us together.”
The Knights’ victory improves their record to 16-1-1 on the year, as they’ve now won six games in a row.
“We have to just keep playing with passion, keep playing with energy,” said Kinsella. “We have all the skill sets, we have all the components to win states, and I just think if we keep playing with this much energy it will happen.”
With a 2019 title already under their belt, the West Essex Knights will set their focus on the state tournament, which begins on Friday, Oct. 25.