The team may be young, but Rocky Point girls’ lacrosse is mighty.
With 13 seconds left on the clock in sudden-death overtime, sophomore midfielder Madison Sanchez scored her fourth goal of Tuesday’s game to give the Eagles what is believed to be their program’s first win over Shoreham-Wading River in school history.
“I thought, ‘I have to do this,’ I put my heart into it, I knew I needed to get it in, and I did,” Sanchez said of the final goal that gave her team the 10-9 victory. “Relief — that’s what it feels like. I’m speechless. It felt really good, especially considering we’ve never beat Shoreham before.”
As her team toppled her to the ground, there was another shining star for the Eagles out on the field being celebrated. Sophomore goalkeeper Shannon Maroney made 20 stops in goal, including one with three seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, and another 30 seconds into the three-minute session.
“We were really great on defense and we moved the ball quick on offense,” she said. “We pulled for each other when we needed to. We came through when we needed the ball. We worked really hard today.”
Rocky Point (6-3 in Division II) struggled to win the draw all evening, but when the Eagles gained possession, they made it count. With 13:49 left in the game, Sanchez scored her hat trick goal when she gained possession at midfield and charged up to the front of the cage to put her team up by two, 8-6.
Shoreham-Wading River junior midfielder Sophia Triandafils wouldn’t let her team go down quietly though, scoring at the 12:16 mark and again at 6:27, after Maroney made back-to-back saves, to tie the game 8-8.
“We had sloppy moments on the field,” said Triandafils, who also added two assists. “It’s hard going against a team that has so many athletes like Rocky Point. You give them an inch and they take a mile, and here and there we gave them a few inches and we just couldn’t come back from it.”
The Wildcats (7-3 in Division II) showed their resiliency, keeping within striking distance each time their opponent scored. Triandafils said her team just needs a little more work.
“We have some good glimpses here and there of the team that we could be,” she said. “We have so much potential on the team, and once we put together a full game, I think we can compete with anyone, play with anyone and beat anyone.”
Freshman attack and midfielder Brianna Lamoureux scored her second goal of the game with 39 seconds left in regulation to give Rocky Point a 9-8 lead, but Shoreham-Wading River’s Maddie Farron tied it up to force overtime just 10 seconds later.
The three minutes were almost up when Sanchez found the back of the net.
While the loss snapped Shoreham-Wading River’s seven-game win streak, the win keeps Rocky Point at the top of the league leaderboard, among undefeated Bayport-Blue Point and Mount Sinai and Eastport-South Manor.
On April 28, Rocky Point travels to Harborfields (6-2 in Division II) at 4 p.m., while Shoreham-Wading River hosts Hauppauge (4-4 in Division II) at 4 p.m.
Although Rocky Point is still without its leading goal scorer in freshman midfielder Brianna Carrasquillo, who netted 34 goals in eight games this season, head coach Dan Spallina is looking forward to where his young team is taking him.
“This group is young, energetic, and there’s such a bond between them,” he said. “As a coach who’s been doing this for a long time, it’s something you can’t bring to the girls. They have to have it on their own, and they do. We’ve been talking about leadership and we’ve been talking about heart and for Maddie Sanchez to take that one-on-one and beat out a girl that should be up for All-American speaks to the type of player that she is. She’s kind of a pass-first kind of girl, but she deserves it. She deserves a win like this. They all do.”