Kacey Knobloch grew up on the Moorestown girls’ lacrosse sidelines, as her mom, Deanna, has coached the Quakers since well before Kacey was born.
On Saturday evening at Kean University, Deanna Knobloch coached her daughter to a state championship as the Quakers knocked off Ridgewood, 14-9, in the Torunament of Champions title game.
Coaching a daughter isn’t easy, Deanna Knobloch said. But winning a state title together is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
“It is an amazing feeling,” Deanna Knobloch said, fighting back tears. “I had some of the best moments of my life with her on the field. I would not trade all the tears and the arguments we had for anything in the world. It wasn’t always an easy ride, but it was the best ride.”
Kacey Knobloch echoed her mom’s sentiments.
“In the beginning, it was a little tough,” she said. “I’ve definitely gotten yelled at a lot of times but I would do it over and over again to feel this.”
The rollercoaster of emotions for the mother-daughter combo ended at an all-time high as Kacey Knobloch got Moorestown off to a 1-0 lead and then netted three more goals in the second half to lead her team in scoring.
Knobloch, a senior, exits the Moorestown program with 57 goals this season and 116 for her career. She’ll be attending and playing for James Madison University next fall, and her mom is the only coach she’s known the last four years. Knobloch said she will always cherish playing for and winning a state title with her mom, but she’s also looking forward to the next challenge in her life.
“I’m ready, but then again I’m going to miss it so much,” Kacey Knobloch said of moving on. “I’m ready for different things, to be a part of a college team.”
Moorestown took an early 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Knobloch, Kayla Frank and Cailin Field. Ridgewood answered with three of its own goals in just more than a minute. But the Quakers didn’t panic, and they scored two more goals, from Frank and Robin Panzarella, to take a 5-3 lead they did not relinquish.
“They’re just so hungry,” Deanna Knobloch said of her team. “They came into this playoff run wanting to win everything, and they weren’t going to let anyone get in the way.”
Ridgewood got as close as 9-8 on Jackie Wolak’s fourth goal of the game after Frank was disqualified with two personal fouls with 11 minutes remaining. Frank scored all three of her goals in the first half
But the Quakers seized total control and outscored the Maroons, 5-1, late in the game. Kacey Knobloch scored three of them.
Moorestown 7 7 — 14
Ridgewood 4 5 — 9
M: Kacey Knobloch 4, Kayla Frank 3, Robin Panzarella 3, Cailin Field 2, Ashley Nutt, Kerry O’Sullivan,
R: Jackie Wolak 4, Marley Scala, Nicole Macolino, Lillie Kloak, Olivia Derrico, Cailin Bracken
Saves: M – Logan Lillie 8; R: Kara Rahaim 11