Hillsborough girls lacrosse triumphant on Senior Night


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Monday’s Senior Night contest against Montgomery High School at Dan A. Noonan Field in Hillsborough will be one that all 10 seniors on the Hillsborough High School girls lacrosse team will remember.

That’s what senior Mia Boccippio said after Hillsborough rolled to a 12-3 victory over Montgomery on May 3, saying the contest was the “best” she thinks the team has played during her time as a Raider.

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“This was one of our best games,” Boccippio said about the victory. “We had a tough time in the beginning, but really kicked it up in the end and I am so happy for us.”

Hillsborough improved its record to 5-2 on the season, controlling the final 26 minutes of play against Montgomery on the way to their second victory over the Cougars.

Leading 4-2 with just 55 seconds left till halftime, sophomore Grace Toth gave the Raiders a boost going into halftime.

Receiving a pass from teammate Erin McCrea, Toth cut to the net and knocked home her second goal of the contest to put Hillsborough up 5-2 at the half.

“We knew we needed to score at that point,” Toth said. “I knew I had to make myself available to try to get a goal and help my team out.”

Toth’s goal was the start of six unanswered scores by the Raiders that helped them ultimately outscore Montgomery 8-1 to finish out the contest.

After Katie Sanfillippo found the back of the net to start things off for the Raiders in the second half, Boccippio got back in on the scoring frenzy following her two goals in the first half.

Boccippio tallied the first hat trick of the night for Hillsborough, receiving a pass from Toth to notch her third goal of the game to make it 7-2.

Toth joined Boccippio in the hat trick party moments later with her third goal of the night that extended the Hillsborough lead to 8-2.

The hat trick gives Toth a team-leading 10 goals for the season. Her game-high three assists in the victory also give Toth a team-high nine dimes this spring.

Her stats feel great but Toth is just happy to be playing lacrosse and helping her team win after missing out on her freshman campaign last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

“I love to play lacrosse,” Toth said. “I didn’t get a freshman season, so to play with the seniors this year is amazing and I couldn’t be having more fun.”

Right behind Toth in the scoring tally for Hillsborough is Boccippio with nine goals, five of which came in the victory on Senior Night.

Boccippio racked up her fourth goal of the game following Toth’s hat trick to make the score 9-2.

To finish off Senior Night in style, Boccippio slammed home her career-high fifth goal of the game in the final seconds off a great pass from fellow senior teammate Olivia Halverson.

Scoring five goals on Senior Night had Boccippio feeling really excited after the game, and she called the contest “her best game ever.”

“I saw the clock winding down and I just put in the back of the net,” Boccippio said. “I know all 10 of us were excited to play and I’m just so happy we came out to get the win. We all played the best games of our lives and I am so proud of us.”

Halverson tallied a goal in the victory to give her eight goals on the season for the Raiders. Senior Alexa Ciccarelli scored two goals for Hillsborough and now has four goals this spring.

Hillsborough has scored 10 or more goals in each of its five victories this season. The scoring power the Raiders have is something Coach Kristina Dunphey believes can help her squad make a run at being one of the best teams in the Skyland Conference.

“We have 10 seniors that are all leaders and know what our expectations are on the attack,” Dunphey said. “We also have a great underclassmen group that is very athletic and very coachable. I think having those two grades together makes us unstoppable.”

For Montgomery, junior Maddie Hogan scored a team-high two goals of the contest, while teammate Toni Chungunov recorded the only Cougars’ goal in the second half.

The loss drops Montgomery to 2-2 on the season. The only two losses this season for the Cougars so far have come against Hillsborough.

First-year Coach Joe Riccardi has been looking forward “all school year” to being on the field with his Montgomery squad and feels the team has the talent to be competitive in the Skyland Conference this season.

“We have a great group of seniors and a great group of juniors,” Riccardi said. “The sophomores are awesome. I can’t ask for a better group to come into the season with. They’re a great group of kids.”

Both Hillsborough and Montgomery are scheduled to be in action on May 6. Hillsborough will travel to play Phillipsburg High School, while Montgomery is slated to play against Bridgewater-Raritan High School.

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