For the Lenape girls' lacrosse team, Thursday's win was like fulfilling a vision.
"This is something we had our sights set on early in the year," coach Jill McCarthy said. "It's something that, as the season progressed, we could see it - we could see what this team could accomplish."
After a 17-14 victory over West Windsor Plainsboro-North in the South Jersey Group 4 final Thursday, Lenape (20-1) will face North Jersey champion Ridge (19-3) for the state title at 2 p.m. Saturday at Monmouth University.
As they have all season, the Indians will rely on a small but influential senior class. The team has just three seniors, but each has been vital to the team's enormous success against one of the top regular-season schedules in the state and one of the top sectional brackets in the state.
The Indians offense is led by the one-two punch of seniors Nicole Donnelly (79 goals) and Rena Carabases (74).
The defense is led by senior Courtney Norton, who will continue her athletic career on the Rutgers women's soccer team next season.
"Those three seniors have meant everything to us this season," said McCarthy, whose team features three freshman starters. "They are unforgettable people and lacrosse players. They've brought the team together with intensity and encouragement and have really shown the younger players what it takes."
Lenape will have to stop a Ridge team with as strong an offense as there is in New Jersey.
"It's going to take an all-around great game for us to win," McCarthy said. "We're excited to try to bring a championship home to Lenape. We're 20-1, but right now none of that matters. It's about how we come out [Saturday] and how bad we want it."