MOORESTOWN – There wasn’t a lot of time spent celebrating after the Moorestown High School girls lacrosse team added yet another South Jersey Group 3 championship to its long history of accolades.
For the most part, the girls and coaches felt they managed to scratch out an 11-7 win over Seneca on Friday, despite not putting out an impressive showing.
There was an exception, however.
Junior Kacey Knobloch, the daughter of head coach Deanna Knobloch and assistant coach K.C. Knobloch turned in a career-best performance with five goals to help spearhead the victory.
“It feels pretty good,” Kacey said. “I know we didn’t play as good as we could today, so it was good I was able to be a part of it and come up big in this.”
The victory put the No. 1-ranked Quakers into the state Group 3 semifinal game where they will play Central Jersey champion Notre Dame next week.
It might not have been so had the younger Knobloch not been able to produce the scoring punch that was required to keep the Quakers in control of the game.
“We definitely needed someone to step up on offense,” said team captain Quinn Nicolai. “We were slow on defense and couldn’t finish out shots. We were making bad passes and bad decisions and Kacey was the one who figured it out. She got our offense rolling.”
Knobloch scored three of her goals in the second half as the Quakers were able to hold off a determined Seneca team.
The Golden Eagles were able to stay within two goals into the second half before Knobloch’s goal at 18:18 gave her team a 7-4 lead.
She scored two more goals in the last 11 minutes, as the Quakers outscored Seneca 7-4 in the game’s final 25 minutes.
Later, Deanna Knobloch said her daughter stepped up when the team needed her.
“She had a great game,” Deanna said. “She made some beautiful shots. Her teammates found her open and she was able to finish.
“(Without her goals) we don’t win, so I’m very proud of her for that. But it’s a team effort and I’m sure she knows that. If we don’t play well as a team you don’t feel good about it.”
It was clear from the outset that this was not going to be a cakewalk for the powerful Quakers.
Seneca jumped on top early with the first goal of the game when Cassidy Spilis connected on the first of her three goals for the game.
Neither team led by more than one goal in the first half, which ended with the Quakers on top 4-3.
“I think my team put together a great game,” said Seneca coach Morgan Crothers. “They were strong on attack and on defense and we really came together as a unit. We played hard the entire game. I’m really proud of them.”
The people on the Moorestown side had no argument. Coach Knobloch and some of her players spoke about how they had their hands full trying to contain the Golden Eagles.
“I’ve got give the credit to Seneca,” coach Knobloch said. “They came out and they played a great game. They possessed the ball and we didn’t take care of the ball.
“We forced things and we have to play a lot better going on from here.”
Aside from Kacey Knobloch’s scoring, the Quakers got a balanced attack with six girls scoring goals. Ava Frantz followed Knobloch with two tallies – one in each half.
Moorestown took control of the scoreboard by opening the second half with a 4-2 run to take an 8-5 lead.
However, the outcome probably wasn’t secure until Ashley Nutt scored to push the score to 10-6 with five minutes to play.
Aside from Spilis’ performance, the Golden Eagles also got three goals from Abby Regn.