Oak Knoll Lacrosse Defeats #1 Seed to Win Third-Straight Union County Tournament

Oak Knoll’s varsity lacrosse team won their third-straight Union County Tournament title with an 11-9 victory over top-seeded Summit on May 6 with the JV team winning the first-ever JV Union County Tournament championship title. It was the first loss to an in-state opponent for Summit since a 9-6 loss to Oak Knoll in the county final last year, which was a run of 19-straight games. Read more game highlights here.

“From our senior class through freshman, every girl showed up ready to play this year and ready to improve and get better as a team,” said Varsity Lacrosse Coach Gianna Sgroi. “That team mentality culminated in Saturday’s victory. The Union County Tournament was going to be our only rematch against Summit for a trophy, so that gave us the motivation to show up so strongly on Saturday. We have some other very tough opponents coming up at the end of May and beginning of June. We are focused on using the momentum from Saturday to propel us toward winning big against those tough teams and also getting to the state final on June 8 to win our state championship.”

Going into the game last Saturday, Oak Knoll was ranked seventh in New Jersey and Summit was ranked number one and was undefeated. Our fearless Royals did not let the ranking hold them back and proved that ranking isn’t a limiting factor for a team like Oak Knoll to seize the opportunity.  

“It felt really good to win as a team since they beat us so badly earlier in the season,” said senior attacker Charlotte Sutton ’23. “Everyone stepped up and we all trusted each other and our game plan which helped us win this game.”

“I am very proud of the effort from our Captains, Darby Campbell, Caroline Medd, and Julia Ramsey for embracing the game plan and helping their teammates do the same,” Sgroi said. “It’s a huge part of why we were able to win Saturday’s game.”

The junior varsity lacrosse team also demonstrated that Oak Knoll is a force with which to contend. The Union County Tournament was a first for JV which made their own win over Summit even sweeter. Typically, JV does not participate in a county tournament. However, this year, the league inaugurated a new annual women’s JV version to hold parity with the men’s tournaments. JV will wrap up their season over the next few weeks against strong competitors also including Ridgewood, Chatham and Moorestown.

“The ‘team first’ mentality is an important piece of the equation for Oak Knoll lacrosse,” said JV Head Coach Brittany Carlin. “This mentality is foundational and a source of success for our strong program. Each of our athletes, from senior captains to freshmen, are dedicated to being the best they can be for the team. I cannot be prouder of this group of promising athletes. Their dedication to learn and improve each day is commendable. They look up to their leaders on varsity and aspire to be in their shoes one day.”

“This game really exemplified what it means to be an Oak Knoll athlete. I am so proud of how we carried ourselves throughout the whole game from the warmup to the final buzzer. We were supportive of each other despite the pressure. For the JV team, we had worked our whole year for this, and we took all that we had learned and built over the season and left it all on the field,” shared Oak Knoll JV Team Goalie Alex Genua ’25.

“Each of us has a different strength that we bring to the team, and we help each other to make the best of it. We only started playing together about two months ago and we all hit it off right away. This is something that sets our team apart from others. The chemistry and bond that we hold is unbreakable. In games and practices, we are always there for each other no matter what, hyping each other up from the sideline and on the field,” explained Oak Knoll Mid-fielder Heather DeCesare ’26.

Our JV team last faced-off against Summit’s JV squad back on April 20 and put on an outstanding performance that day earning a 10-7 win over the seemingly superior competitor. The team was prepared and eager to face Summit again for the trophy in the new UCT JV final.

Leading up to Saturday, the team worked on a new offensive motion to bring into the final game and reviewed new defensive strategies. Goalie Alex Genua ‘25 put up crucial stops in critical moments; midfielder Heather DeCesare ‘26 helped control the draw and tallied up four goals in the game; and Liza Rogers ‘25, a solid crease defender, put up some major stops against one of Summit’s leading attackers.

Congratulations to our incredible Royals lacrosse players and we wish our varsity team all the best as they complete their season and set their eyes on a potential State Championship.