When Windermere hosted West Orange March 30, it meant Wolverines head coach Ann Bomleny would have to game plan for her daughter — Warriors senior Meghan Bomleny.
Plenty of families and friendships have encountered a fun new dynamic this school year with the split between West Orange and Windermere in athletics.
Former teammates now line up opposite one another.
Siblings — such as West Orange’s Elijah Jackson and Windermere’s Isaiah Jackson — squared off during football season.
But the girls lacrosse matchup between the Warriors and Wolverines March 30 added a new wrinkle to the dynamic, as Windermere head coach Ann Bomleny got to game plan for a West Orange team that featured her daughter: Warriors senior and Saint Francis signee Meghan Bomleny.
And in the days leading up to the match, it was safe to say the Bomleny abode was a house divided.
“There was a lot of smack talk — still loving, but some smack talk between each other,” Meghan said.
Meghan and her West Orange teammates got the better of the first exchange of new rivals: the Warriors (10-3) earned a 20-2 victory over the host Wolverines (8-4).
Meghan scored a game-high seven goals for West Orange, creating an interesting dynamic for her mother while coaching on the sideline — the player causing her the biggest headache was the one she had raised.
“It’s a combination of pride and — at the same time — I’m trying to figure out how to stop her,” Ann said.
Taylor Bryan added five goals for the Warriors, while Jayden Smith scored both goals for the Wolverines.
West Orange taking the victory was not entirely surprising. Windermere has no seniors and has a roster that skews young, reflective of a building program.
For girls from both sides, the game was a unique occasion to reunite with former teammates.
“They were all former teammates of ours,” Meghan said. “We were really excited to play against them and be back on the same field with everybody. They (the Wolverines) have many great players, and they’re definitely going to be a team to beat in the next coming years.”
For Windermere, a team that has had some success already in its first year, the defeat at the hands of their friendly foes was somewhat humbling — but also an opportunity for motivation going forward.
“We know that West Orange is the powerhouse in our district, and we knew this would be a big game and high-level competition for us to face,” Ann said. “We’re already talking about next year — the rematch.”
With the game behind them, both mother and daughter have plenty to focus on moving forward as the regular season nears its conclusion. Of course, that doesn’t mean Meghan isn’t going to take advantage of an opportunity to gloat here and there.
“I’m going to hold it over her head like every day,” Meghan said, laughing.
Fortunately, a little friendly ribbing is something Ann said she will allow. It’s a reward to her daughter for all the hard work she put in while playing for Ann’s Storm Lacrosse club teams.
“For all the years I coached her in club, I’ve been incredibly tough on her,” Ann said.
Of course, the two might not have to wait all that long for a rematch. In lacrosse, the top four teams in a district advance to the district tournament, and there is a chance that West Orange will be the No. 1 seed in District 9, while Windermere could be the No. 4 seed.