Rocky Point lax loses in last second of semifinals

Rocky Point lax loses in last second of semifinals

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Brianna Lamoureux moves around the cage. Photo by Desirée Keegan

It came down to the last second, literally, and the Rocky Point girls’ lacrosse team was on the losing end, as the No. 2 Eagles were upset by No. 6 West Babylon, 9-8.

“It’s the toughest not just end of the game, but end of the season,” Rocky Point head coach Dan Spallina said. “These girls have been through a lot with me and I feel like they’re daughters to me. I have 23 daughters and this one stings for sure.”

The girls didn’t get off to the start they may have liked, as West Babylon scored the first two goals of the game for the early advantage.

“Let’s go, let’s answer back,” Spallina shouted from the sideline, and his girls did just that.

Freshman attack and midfielder Brianna Lamoureux passed the ball from the left side of the cage to senior attack Jillian LoManto up top, who snuck the ball inside to cut the lead in half. After winning the ensuing draw and attempting to score, the West Babylon keeper made a save, but a turnover in Rocky Point’s zone led to another Eagles opportunity, and they weren’t going to squander it.

Madison Sanchez crosses into North Babylon’s zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Madison Sanchez crosses into North Babylon’s zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Sophomore midfielder Madison Sanchez swiveled around the back of the cage and dumped the ball in to tie the game.

Despite battling back, West Babylon’s Sam Geiersbach was hard to contain, as she scored her second, third and fourth goals of the game to end the half with her team up 6-5.

“We were sloppy — we let [Sam Geiersbach] loose a little too many times,” Spallina said.

At the 19:42 mark, West Babylon broke the ice for the scoring in the second half, but Rocky Point was quick to respond when, off a free position shot, junior attack Christina Ferrara passed to freshman attack and midfielder Delaney Vu, who rocketed a shot into the netting. Minutes later, Sanchez passed the ball to freshman attack Megan Greco, to tie the game 7-7.

Again, Geiersbach came through for her team, scoring the go-ahead goal, but Vu countered with a goal off an assist from LoManto. Junior goalkeeper Britney Iamele came through with clutch back-to-back-to-back saves to keep her team in the game, and Spallina called for timeout.

“We were made for this,” Sanchez shouted to her team. “Give it everything you have.”

After maintaining possession for several minutes, and the ball flip-flopping sides, neither team could make it to goal, until Lamoureux was awarded a free position shot after an illegal check knocked her down. With 15 seconds left on the clock, she scored, but the goal was waved off after the referees called a stick violation.

Geiersbach gained possession at midfield and scored her sixth goal of the game with a second left on the clock to break the tie.

Christina Bellissimo passes the ball. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Christina Bellissimo passes the ball. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“Good players make great plays and that’s what she did,” Spallina said of Geiersbach. “Even at the end of the game, it was a good shot off stick at the hip. That’s just what it comes down to.”

But he said he’s proud of the way his girls battled back time and time again, and made huge strides for the program this season, as it is his first 10-win season since 2010.

“It’s a bitter end,” he said. “But I love this team. I love the character, I love the hustle, I love the heart. We’re resilient as anything, we’re athletic as anything, and we’re young. I told them this could do one of two things — it could shut you down or it’s going to motivate you, and I’ll do my damndest to make sure this motivates them. It’s going to speak to the types of kids they are when they bounce back from this. It’s been a great season.”