MOORESTOWN, N.J. -- Mount Hebron's status as the nation's No. 1 girls lacrosse team was preserved with a dramatic 10-8 victory over Moorestown yesterday that was not secured until the final moments.
It took the second of All-American Megan Bosica's two goals with 1:58 left to play to give the Vikings (12-0), rated No. 1 by LaxPower.com, a bit of breathing room against Moorestown, rated No. 2, en route to their 91st consecutive win, a streak dating back nearly five years.
When she could finally relax, Mount Hebron coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland said "coming on the road and playing a team of this caliber, yes, this gives us the occasion [to say her Vikings indeed are the nation's best]."
"Playing Moorestown is not like you're playing a team ... that has never picked up a stick. This is big program, a quality program, they have excellent athletes and excellent coaches."
Not since the May 10, 2001 - a 10-9 loss to St. Stephen's/St. Agnes - have the Vikings tasted defeat, but Moorestown (11-1) pushed the Vikings to the limit.
The matchup attracted an estimated 1,500 fans. "[It was] by far the biggest crowd we've ever had for a girls lacrosse game here," said Moorestown athletic director Neil Rosa.
Junior twins Katie (three goals) and Jill Rekart (two goals) delivered half of Mount Hebron's scoring but needed the outstanding goalkeeping of Karen Nicolaus (six saves) to stay on top.
"It was like this was for the national championship," said North Carolina-bound Bosica, The Sun's 2005 All-Metro Player of the Year. "They're the No. 2 team, we're No. 1; to me, it was the biggest game I've ever played in, it may be the biggest game I think I may ever play in."
Moorestown attacked early, taking 1-0 and 2-1 leads before Jill Rekart drilled in the equalizer at 7:53 of the first half. Alicia Krause's unassisted shot put the Vikings on top after 11:21, only to see Moorestown's Bridget Callahan tie it 10 minutes later. Five seconds before halftime, Jacqueline Giles, fed by Katie Rekart, gave the Vikings the lead they never relinquished.
"They were just better than us today. My girls fought hard and fought to the end, we never gave up. But we made a lot of mistakes and they capitalized on them," Moorestown coach Deanna Knobloch said.
Jill Rekart and Bosica scored in the first four minutes of the second half for the Vikings' largest lead, 6-3, but determined Moorestown fought back to within a single goal four more times. Even after Bosica made it 10-8, the Quakers had their chances, only to see the Vikings defense prevail.
Moorestown's Brooke Cantwell had three goals and Guilia Giordano had two.
"[Mt. Hebron's] a great program and our girls love playing them," said Knobloch of the series that opened in 2005 with host Mount Hebron winning, 11-5.
"Absolutely, we'll want to play them again next year. This is a great rivalry; we want to keep it going. Both teams have a lot of respect for each other.
"This is an experience every person here will remember forever, I mean, players, coaches, fans. Even when they go on to college, they may not experience what they experienced today."