The Shoreham-Wading River girls’ lacrosse team couldn’t keep up with the Golden Flashes on Friday. Despite lighting up the scoreboard early, the Wildcats fell to Sayville, 12-4.
“I don’t really think they played with a lot of heart today,” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Rachel Feirstein said of her team. “They didn’t play the game that I know they can play.”
Sayville scored first but a minute later, Jesse Arline passed the ball to Sophia Triandafils, who tied the game. It didn’t last for long though — by the time another minute had passed, Sayville had edged ahead, 3-1.
Shortly afterward, following a foul call, Shoreham eighth-grader Isabella Meli, a midfielder and attack, fired a shot straight up the middle from 10 yards out to pull her team within one.
“I think today wasn’t one of our best games but I think we did good on draw controls,” she said. “I think we need to have a more positive attitude while we’re playing — and less turnovers.”
Sayville then scored four straight goals, but it would have been more without Shoreham senior goalkeeper and captain Lauren Daly, who made three big saves to minimize the damage.
The half ended with the Wildcats down 7-2.
“I think we had some moments of greatness, but I think there were times where we could have won a few more 50/50 balls and taken some better shots,” Daly said. “Sayville is a great team. They have some really good players and some really good ball movement, so I think defensively we communicated well with each other.”
At the start of the second half, Shoreham patiently maintained possession of the ball for more than five straight minutes and finally found the back of the net, to bring the score to 7-3.
After another Daly save, Sayville hammered one in net and forced Shoreham to call a timeout. Daly came out of the huddle to make another save, but Sayville squeezed another ball past her to jump out to a 9-3 lead.
“I walk into every game with the same attitude, and every single game I just try to play my best,” Daly said.
Sayville’s defense continued to pressure, forcing Shoreham outside the crease. Even there, the Wildcats couldn’t find the open looks.
Sayville scored another time before Shoreham scored its final goal of the game.
Samantha Higgins, who won possession off of several draws for the Wildcats, swiped the ball out of the air, took it all the way down the field and passed to Meli in front of the net, who whipped it in for the score.
Daly made her final of nine saves on the day, and Sayville scored twice more to end the game at 12-4.
Feirstein does not believe the game and its result are indicative of the way her team can play.
“I think the negative outweighed the bright spots, but there were some — we had an eighth-grader who scored two goals,” she said of Meli. “I have a lot of confidence in my team; they just need to show it. They need to work together as a team, and they practice it all week long — they just need to put it together in a 50-minute game.”
Daly said to end the regular season strong, the team will need to work on winning more ground balls and capitalizing on turnovers, which the girls hope to do Monday, when they travel to Miller Place at 4 p.m.
“We have some really great players and we’re a young team, but I think we’re a confident team,” she said. ”I think when we play confident and when we play our best, we’re a threat.”