MORRISTOWN – Braeden Siverson gave Morristown a win for the ages.
And she made it happen with only one good shoulder.
Siverson scored the golden goal late in overtime to lift Morristown past Ridgewood, 14-13, in an epic North Group 4 championship on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the second sectional title in program history and the first since coach Allie Ferrara’s senior year in 2015.
“It’s the total dream of Morristown High School lacrosse,” Siverson said. “Ridgewood is an amazing team. We knew that we had to come out strong, hard and fast.”
Siverson came to the bench in tears early in the second half after feeling a pop in her left shoulder. Besides the pain was the fear that it could be her last time on the field this year. The collision with Ridgewood’s Lindsey Devir came at an pivotal moment for Morristown, who lost a three-goal lead and its dominant faceoff specialist in the span of minutes.
Yet, Siverson composed herself with the help of an athletic trainer and talked her way back into the game minutes later despite some stiffness.
Morristown worked the ball around after winning the draw in overtime and found an opening with Siverson posting up in front of the net. She accepted a pass from Anna Szporn and cut to her left for the winning shot.
“You couldn’t have drawn it up any better. Even the dramatic fashion,” Ferrara said. “The rain. The overtime game between phenomenal teams and phenomenal players from top to bottom. I couldn’t have written that story any better.”
Szporn finished with four goals and Megan O’Brien added three for the young but undaunted Colonials.
“I was so in awe,” said Siverson, who completed the hat trick with 1:15 left in OT. “I was thinking did that even go in? It’s the most amazing feeling ever.”
What it means
Morristown (16-3) will take on South Group 4 winner Lenape with a chance at its first state championship on Saturday. The 1 p.m. match will be the second of four finals held at Warren Hills.
Morris County will be well-represented with three sectional champions in action Saturday, including Chatham and Mountain Lakes.
Ferrara credited the tough competition for preparing her team for the emotions and physicality in crunch time. It’s hard to tell that four of the top five scorers for Morristown are sophomores.
“This was an opportunity to write the other narrative,” Ferrara said. “I think it comes from experience. They knew what they needed to do and they did their job.”
Meanwhile, Bergen County was shut out of sectional hardware for the second straight season after producing three champions apiece in 2018 and 2019. It’s the first time the county won’t have a boys or girls lacrosse team in the state finals since 2005.
“When the buzzer hit, I have to smile because everybody worked so hard,” Ridgewood coach Liz Henky said. “I get sad when the girls cry because they played so hard. That’s all you can do. That’s all I can ask for. I’m proud of them.”
Inside the game
Top-seeded Morristown and No. 2 Ridgewood went back-and-forth all afternoon during a fearless display of speed and skill.
The Colonials took an 8-5 lead at the half by scoring twice after Devir was given a yellow card for a dangerous follow-through. The Maroons reeled off five straight goals after the break but had their momentum stalled when Devir (team-high six goals) picked up her second yellow with Ridgewood up 11-10.
The Maroons had to play the last 12:47 of regulation without the middie who finished with a school-record 107 goals this year.
“It was an accident, but it’s OK,” Henky said. “These refs are great. Everybody is just playing hard and accidents happen.”
Ridgewood tied the score on Tate Ban’s goal with 1:14 to go in regulation and got a crucial save by Morgan McGahan before time expired. Morristown put away the heavyweight battle by winning its 20th draw in 29 tries.
“That’s just pure fight,” Ferrara said. “Pure heart. We dig that ball out and we get to those 50/50 balls. I’m so proud of them today.”
Sean Farrell is a high school sports reporter for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app.
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