The Trinity Hall lacrosse program has climbed the ranks of the Shore Conference over the past four years, from the bottom tier of the conference to its new spot as champions of the conference.
The Monarchs (12-4) claimed the top spot and the program’s first Shore Conference Tournament championship by dethroning eight-time defending champion Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, 17-7, in the 2022 Shore Conference Tournament championship game on May 17 at Monmouth University, West Long Branch.
The 2022 final was a rematch of the 2021 championship game between the Monarchs and the Bulldogs.
Trinity Hall is independent all-girls college preparatory high school based in Tinton Falls.
“It feels great,” Coach Dana Lenneper said after the victory. “All of our hard work paid off. The girls came together and played very well.”
During the past three seasons, the Monarchs posted a 48-11 record and won a state title. The only thing missing was a Shore Conference Tournament crown.
“We have been on this journey since 2019 to get to where we are and we have worked really hard to do it,” Lenneper said. “We finally broke through and showed that not only can we compete against the best teams in the state, we can also beat the best teams in the state.”
In 2021, Trinity Hall won the inaugural NJSIAA Non-Public Group B state championship by defeating Montclair Kimberley Academy, 13-6. The Monarchs lost to Rumson-Fair Haven in the quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions.
Losing two postseason tournament contests to the Bulldogs in 2021 stayed in the minds of Lenneper and the Monarchs heading into the 2022 season.
The first time Rumson-Fair Haven and Trinity Hall met in 2022 was on April 21 and the Bulldogs won 10-7.
Lenneper was not going to let past outcomes against the Bulldogs affect her players’ mindset heading into this season’s Shore Conference Tournament championship game.
She told her players they had nothing to lose and to give the game everything they had.
“If you don’t play afraid, you can win,” said Lenneper. “I told them to just play their game.”
The Monarchs played with confidence from the opening draw and in a matter of minutes they had built a 3-0 lead. Three unanswered goals by the Bulldogs tied the score at 3-3 with 9:09 to play in the first half.
Even though the Bulldogs came back to tie the game, Lenneper still felt the momentum was on her team’s side with the way the Monarchs were playing.
The Monarchs finished the first half with four consecutive goals, including two goals in the final minute to take a 7-3 lead at the break.
The Monarchs scored 10 goals in the second half to secure the tournament championship. The 17 goals were the most allowed by the Bulldogs in 2022 and the seven goals the Bulldogs scored were a season low.
“Our defense played really well,” Lenneper added.
Senior midfielder Mary Kate Allingham scored four goals and added three assists. Allingham has scored 33 goals and leads the team with 39 assists.
Senior Paige Nolan and juniors Peyton McGuire and Alex Popham each scored three goals in the championship game. McGuire leads the team with 57 goals.
Senior Charlotte Webber scored twice, while Lily Wood and Mary Catherine O’Connor each scored once in the win over the Bulldogs.
Junior goalkeeper Isabelle Darman made seven saves for the Monarchs.
The Monarchs have now set their sights on winning the NJSIAA Non-Public Group A state tournament. Trinity Hall will host Donovan Catholic of Toms River in the first round of the state tournament on May 23.