HomeExaminerExaminer SportsAllentown lacrosse players confident as state tournament nears

Allentown lacrosse players confident as state tournament nears

ALLENTOWN — The 2022 NJSIAA South Jersey Group II state sectional tournament is about to begin and Allentown High School’s girls lacrosse players are confident they can make a run at the title.

Coach Jen Chiusano and the Redbirds will be trying to reach a state sectional tournament championship game for the second straight season. The 2021 Redbirds fashioned a 16-1 campaign.

Making a second straight appearance in a sectional title game “would mean the world. It would definitely make this already great season an even better season. It would mean a whole lot to me to see these girls experience that,” Chiusano said.

Allentown is 12-5 heading into its final regular season contest against Westfield on May 16. The state sectional tournament is scheduled to begin on May 19.

The Redbirds were tested during the regular season and in the Mercer County Tournament.

Early season losses to winning programs like Red Bank Catholic and Hunterdon Central were valuable teaching moments that Chiusano said her players did a good job learning from.

Those lessons were showcased during the county tournament semifinals on May 11 when the Redbirds faced Princeton.

A few weeks earlier, Princeton defeated Allentown in overtime, 10-9.

In the county tournament semifinals against the Little Tigers, the Redbirds rode Chloe Conti’s game-winning goal in double overtime to a 9-8 victory and advanced to their first county tournament championship game in four years.

“We had one game (against Princeton) go the other way and we were able to learn from it and have it go our way” in the county tournament, Chiusano said. “Those games are super valuable in preparing yourself both physically and mentally.”

On May 13, the Redbirds hosted Lawrenceville Prep in the Mercer County Tournament championship game.

The visiting Big Red defeated Allentown, 16-9, to deny the Redbirds the school’s second county tournament championship. The contest marked the first time in 2022 that Allentown lost a game by more than three goals.

After the championship game, Chiusano said she was very proud of how her players battled against a well respected program that has won four county tournament titles since 2017.

“I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world. They play with so much heart and hustle and I’m very proud of them,” the coach said.

Senior Jolee Roth and freshman Delaney Nolan each scored three goals against Lawrenceville Prep. Freshman Mya Lourenco scored two goals and Conti scored once against the Big Red.

Senior goalkeeper Reagan Stewart made seven saves in the championship game.

Conti has scored 35 goals and leads the team with 45 assists. Roth leads the Redbirds with 63 goals.

Chiusano has been impressed by Roth during her senior campaign. The coach loves Roth’s  effort and toughness, and the way she plays the sport.

“Jolee plays with a lot of heart and a lot of hustle. She embodies being an attacker and attacking the goal,” Chiusano said.

Chiusano said her players have exceeded her expectations with the way they have competed on the field and overcome challenges they have faced.

“They never give up. They could have had a couple of tight losses and completely given up and not learned from it, but they have managed to be resilient and overcome certain challenges. Each tough loss we learn from. These girls always keep their heads up,” the coach said.

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