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Moorestown hungry for more after repeating as Group III state champs

After cruising past Warren Hills, 7–0, in Saturday’s Group III state championship, the Quakers are hoping to make a run at next week’s Tournament of Champions.

Moorestown High School made winning the NJSIAA Group III state championship look like a Saturday afternoon stroll in the park.

The Quakers won their second consecutive state championship in dominating fashion on Saturday as they defeated Warren Hills High School, 7–0. The win was not an anomaly either. In each of Moorestown’s five playoff games, they have mowed down the opposition, winning by the identical score of 7–0 in every game.

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Now, Moorestown is shifting its focus on another goal. The Quakers are determined to make history and become the best team in New Jersey at the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions next week.

“That’s what driving and fueling them,” head coach Ali Collins said of her team’s Tournament of Champions aspirations. “Not only have they been here, but they want more. They’re not going to settle for what this program achieved last year.”

Senior Kayla Frank believes the Quakers’ large senior class has entered this season with high expectations in their final season.

“A lot of it is we know its our last year,” Frank said. “We’re trying to finish as hard as we can and go all the way.”

Moorestown happens to be peaking as the season enters the final stretch. Since suffering their only loss of 2018 in mid-October to Eastern Regional High School, the Quakers have been unstoppable, winning eight consecutive games. The team’s three wins prior to the start of playoffs all came against teams that either won a sectional or state championship this season: West Essex High School, Rancocas Valley Regional High School and West Deptford High School. Moorestown managed to outscore those teams by a combined 12–2 in those three wins.

“The desire has always been there, but as we moved toward the postseason, we picked up some really great games,” Collins said. “We challenged ourselves with a tough schedule to get us ready for games like today.”

The Quakers’ offense has been especially potent in the last month. Frank has led the team in goals with 35 this season, while senior Delaney Lawler is right behind her with 22 goals.

“(The offense) is just doing an awesome job finishing the ball,” Lawler said. “We talk about it all the time, finish early and often, score early and often, and not just on set pieces like corners. We’re looking for the re-directs, second opportunities, talking about spacing and things like that.”

Moorestown’s offense showed off what it could do late in the first half against Warren Hills. After scoring a goal early, the score remained 1–0 until late in the first half. In the final 12 minutes of the period, however, the Quakers’ offense lit up the scoreboard, scoring four times en route to building a 5–0 halftime lead and putting the game out of reach.

Lawler, who led the scoring barrage for Moorestown with three goals in the state final, said she was proud to win another state title for the field hockey program. She noted how prior to 2017, it had been more than a decade since Moorestown had last one a state title.

“A lot of people have discredited us as a hockey town,” Lawler said. “We have to dig a little deeper and realize we have almost 20 state championships in the history books. To be able to bring (the state championships) back to Moorestown is awesome.”

Frank said this year’s team isn’t finished with making history, however. Moorestown failed to advance past the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions in its previous two appearances. This year, the Quakers want to do something they have never done before.

“This game for us was just a stepping stone,” Frank said. “Each game of the playoffs is just a stepping stone to getting to our final goal (of winning the Tournament of Champions) and I think we’re capable of reaching it.”


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