Ridgewood, IHA to play for Bergen crown
Ridgewood and IHA will face off in a battle of girls lacrosse powerhouses for the Bergen County Tournament championship on Saturday evening.
The much-anticipated showdown between the top-ranked Maroons and third-seeded Blue Eagles is slated to begin at 5 p.m. at Mahwah High School, and will be live-streamed exclusively on MSGVarsity.com.
Ridgewood earned a spot in the title game and afforded itself the chance to win a fifth straight crown by defeating fourth-seeded Mahwah, 16-3, in the semifinals. Meanwhile, IHA cruised past second-seeded Northern Highlands, 12-6, in the other bracket.
These two clubs are no stranger to each other, setting the stage for what could be an epic game. Ridgewood has won each of the last four title contests -- and Kelci Smesko and company are looking to extend that streak.
Smesko, Ridgewood's Duke-bound superstar, anchors an explosive offense that has helped the Maroons enter with a 17-2 record.
Their nine-game winning streak was halted on Thursday, when they fell to Moorestown, 15-10, in a rematch of last season's Tournament of Champions final.
Despite that setback, however, Ridgewood has established itself as a top-tier juggernaut. One of the team's high points came at the expense of the Blue Eagles, too. In the first match between the two, the Maroons crawled back from a 7-1 hafltime deficit to come away with a thrilling, 12-9 victory three weeks ago.
Ready for Round Two? These teams certainly are.