With her team’s early 3-0 lead turning into a 5-3 deficit, Meaghan Tyrrell knew somebody had to take charge.
“I got the ball in our offensive end, and I knew somebody had to do it,” Tyrrell said. “And I just stepped up.”
She had a five-goal performance and two assists to lead Mount Sinai’s girls’ lacrosse team to its third consecutive Class C county crown, with 9-6 win over Bayport-Blue Point May 30. The junior scored unassisted to pull her team within one, 5-4, and assisted on senior Leah Nonnenmann’s game-tying goal less than 30 seconds later. She knew her team was on its way to the Long Island championship as she raised her hands toward the sky following two unassisted goals soon after her assist.
“We wanted this so bad,” Tyrrell said. “We know Bayport, we’ve seen them before, but each time it’s different. When they started coming back we realized something had to change.”
The key was not only Tyrrell taking charge, but locking down on defense, and the Mustangs had one of the county’s top defenders in senior Emily Vengilio to do just that.
“We never give up,” Vengilio said. “[Bayport-Blue Point has] a great offense, so we knew our defense had to step up. Three years ago when we lost to them [11-9 in the county final] in the last 10 minutes, we knew what it felt like, so we fought hard to make sure it didn’t happen again.”
Phantom Kelsi LoNigro was the target, and Vengilio and twin sisters Meaghan and Kirsten Scutaro made every step the senior tried to take difficult.
“Our kids are tough — they’re all veteran players,” Mount Sinai head coach Al Bertolone said. “We tried to take [Kelsi LoNigro] out of the mix because she’s a catalyst for their offense.
We took their best punches. At the end of the day you have to have kids that fight, and they fought.”
Mount Sinai jumped ahead 3-0 with two goals from senior Veronica Venezia. Tyrrell assisted on the first and scored the second goal of the game. But Bayport-Blue Point picked up steam to tie the game by halftime. Nonnenmann said her teammates were in their own heads, including herself — even while racing toward the circle to grab a pass from Tyrrell for her goal that made it 5-5.
“I was thinking ‘I should get this,’” she said. “I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders. But when it was me and the goalie I knew I had it.”
Mount Sinai’s objective just a couple of years ago was to “prove people wrong.” Now, the Mustangs are synonymous with championship-level lacrosse.
“We’d always been overlooked, but that’s changed now,” Vengilio said. “We wanted to make the full circle. Each win feels great, but this one especially. Now we’re definitely on top.”