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Girls Lacrosse

It was the miracle that wasn’t.

In the Long Island Championship, the Northport Lady Tiger lacrosse team came back from a six-goal deficit in regulation capped by a goal from freshman Kate Atkinson with less than three minutes to play — only to lose the game in sudden death overtime 9-8 at Adelphi University in Garden City.

Massapequa Lady Chief Caitlyn Dorman scored with less than 20 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to win the L.I.C. and deny Northport its fourth straight Long Island Championship as well as a chance to compete for their third New York State title.

The Lady Tigers were 17-2 this year and they had handled Massapequa (11-5) the two previous years to win the L.I.C., but the Lady Chiefs came out of the gate on fire, determined to stop that streak.

Jessica Giller scored two minutes into the game for Massapequa on a free position opportunity and the flood gates were open. Allison Pertullo took a nifty feed from Bridget Valentine a minute later, and it was 2-0 Massapequa, and when Giller beat Tiger goalkeeper Megan Morris at 4:24 of the first half, it became an almost unfathomable 7-1 lead for the Chiefs.

But Northport, as everyone knows, is made of championship stuff — and they started to chip away. They got two goals in the final moments of the half — both by Kennedy Radziul and the score was 7-3 at the break.
Radziul opened the second half scoring in the first minute and the momentum was still firmly on the Tigers’ side. Emma McLam dodged her way through traffic and slipped one past GK Christina Fredella to cut the deficit to two and the Lady Tigers sideline was delirious, sensing what they thought was inevitable.

With the score 8-6 in favor of Massapequa, Northport’s Payson Hedges, who will attend Adelphi in the fall, took on three defenders with nine minutes to go and zing on past Fredella from close range. Atkinson would complete the comeback on a curl play, taking a brilliant lead pass from Radziul to tie the score at eight. On to overtime.

After Atkinson bounced a ball just wide that would have won the game, Northport turned the ball over and committed a turnover. Dorman was awarded a free position opportunity from 10 yards away to Morris’s stick side. Dorman bounced it in and Massapequa captured its first ever Long Island Championship.

Northport Lady Tigers celebrate their victory. Photo by Steven Zaitz

The second-ranked Northport Lady Tigers lacrosse team advanced to the Suffolk County Division I final match by clobbering the William Floyd Colonials, 12-7, at home on Tuesday Night. They will face fifth-seeded Smithtown East at Stony Brook University on May 31 after the Bulls upset the top ranked Ward Melville Lady Patriots.

In what was a close game for the first six minutes, the Lady Tigers took control of the match with six goals in the last nine minutes of the first half, including two in the last 45 seconds, both by freshman attacker Kate Atkinson. This offensive explosion turned a slim 3-2 Tiger advantage into a 9-3 rout in-the-making. 

Fellow attacker Julia Huxtable had five goals, including the last three of the game for Northport. Left defensive winger Kennedy Radziul had a goal and five assists. Goalkeeper Megan Morris had five saves as the Tigers never allowed the Colonials to crawl back into the game in the second half. 

Senior Grace McCarthy won a whopping 78% of her draws at the dot and this allowed Northport to control the ball in the offensive zone for long stretches. McCarthy also chipped in with two assists, and junior Christina Lauro had two first half goals.

Northport’s record is now 16-2 overall, and Floyd finishes the year at 13-5. Ava Tiedemann scored three goals for the Colonials and Kayden Meyer had two. GK Makayla Inguanta kicked out nine Northport shots.

Middle Country, the seventh seed, entered postseason play hosting tenth-seeded Sachem East in the opening round of the playoffs, leading the Arrows by five goals to open the second half of the Div. I matchup on Tuesday, May 16.

It was the trio of Kate Timarky, Juliana Speziale and Olivia Annunziata who dominated the scoreboard for the Mad Dogs, keeping Sachem East at bay in this contest.

Seniors Speziale and Annunziata, both of whom will play lacrosse for Long Island University next season, notched four goals apiece and three assists between them. 

Senior Kate Timarky, the Notre Dame-bound midfielder, netted five goals along with one assist in the 13-5 victory. Senior goalie Jamie Cuozzo had a quiet day in net with three saves.

Middle County travels to the quarterfinal round on Friday, May 19, when the Mad Dogs face second-seeded Northport. Game time is 4 p.m

– Photos by Bill Landon

In a home game against Westhampton Beach Thursday night, May 11, the Rocky Point Eagles entered the halftime break tied 3-3. Rocky Point junior Sydney Woods opened the second half with a goal, putting her team out front by one.

But the Hurricanes rattled off four unanswered goals, retaking the lead and never looking back. Westhampton Beach grounded the Eagles in the Div. II matchup, winning 11-6.

Senior Leela Smith led the Eagles in scoring with three goals, while teammates Kylie Lamoureux, Fiona Vu and Mckenzie Moeller each scored. Goalie Brianna Henke had six stops in net.

The loss drops the Eagles to 9-5 in the division, 11-5 overall. The team will now focus on postseason play which begins Wednesday, May 17.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was all Kate Timarky for the Middle Country girls lacrosse team Monday afternoon, May 8, when the senior midfielder rattled off five goals in the first six minutes of play.

In this Div. I home game against Half Hollow Hills, Middle Country closed out the first half with a four-goal advantage. But the Mad Dogs exploded in the second half, peppering the scoreboard with eight more, putting the game away 18-9.

Notre Dame-bound Timarky led her team in scoring with five assists and eight goals. Teammates Olivia Annunziata finished with five goals and two assists, and Juliana Speziale notched a pair of assists along with three goals. Goalie Jamie Cuozzo, a senior, had 10 saves in net.

With the victory, Middle Country improves to 8-4 in the division with two games left in the regular season before playoffs begin Tuesday, May 16.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was all Miller Place on a rainy Saturday afternoon, April 29, when the Panthers hosted the Smithtown West Bulls in a Div. II matchup.

Miller Place had secured a 7-2 lead by the halftime break. Smithtown West’s struggles continued in the second half, with Miller Place controlling the pace the rest of the way. The Panthers put the game away 15-4.

Mirabella Altebrando led the way for the Panthers with six assists. Olivia Coffey netted four goals while teammates Isabella Luisa and Hayden Young each scored three goals apiece. Natalia Altebrando had eight saves on the day.

Smithtown West’s Jolie Schiavo scored twice for the Bulls, and Ashley Mennella and teammate Laura Luikart both scored.

The win lifts Miller Place to 6-5 in their division, while the Bulls dropped to 5-6 with three games remaining before postseason play begins.

Both teams are back in action Wednesday, May 3, when Miller Place hosts Eastport-South Manor, and Smithtown West hits the road for an away game against Greenport-Southold-Mattituck. Both games begin at 4:00 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

West Babylon came knocking on Comsewogue’s door Thursday night, April 27, in a Div. II contest in which both teams held matching records at 3-6. The Warriors relentlessly pursued victory, though it would take five overtime periods to determine them the victor.

West Babylon scored back-to-back goals in the opening minutes of the second half, edging ahead 7-4. But the Warriors’ offense came thundering back, rattling off three unanswered goals of their own and tying the game at 7-7 with two minutes left in regulation.

Neither team could find the cage as the time on the clock expired, forcing overtime. Scoreless through the first four three-minute overtime periods, Comsewogue freshman Vienna Guzman’s stick would be the difference maker, breaking the stalemate and winning the game 8-7.

Comsewogue’s Gianna McNulty scored and had two assists. Teammates Gabby Constant and Kamryn McCrary scored two goals apiece. Freshman goalie Isabella Borruso had seven saves on the night.

The win lifts the Warriors to 4-6 in their division with four games remaining before postseason play begins.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Fabulous freshman attacker Kate Atkinson had an astonishing seven goals for Northport as the Lady Tigers beat the Smithtown East Lady Bulls, 17-11, on Tuesday.

Northport continues its undefeated season and moves to 7-0 and has won 61 of its last 62 games dating back to 2019. The only blight on this record is a loss to Baldwinsville in the New York State Championship final last June. Smithtown East falls to 4-2.

Northport spotted East the first goal of the game, and the Lady Bulls controlled the ball for a large portion of the opening five minutes. Jenna Mehlinger scored at 19:32.

The Lady Tigers got in gear after Mehlinger’s goal and reeled off the next seven in a 13-minute span, three of which coming off the stick of Atkinson. Northport took a commanding 10-3 into the half.

The two teams traded goals in the second half, and the Bulls outscored the Tigers 8-7 in the second session, but it was not nearly enough.  Kennedy Radziul had three goals, and Haleigh Greenberg and Grace McCarthy had two each. Goalkeeper Megan Morris had six saves.

Ava Aceri had five goals for Smithtown East, all of them coming after halftime. She also assisted on a goal by Jenna Soto, who had a pair of goals.  Mehlinger totaled three goals and an assist as beleaguered Bulls netminder, Grace McDonald, faced 24 shots on the afternoon, stopping seven of them. 

Northport has a non-league match coming up on April 22 against Westchester County’s Fox Lane High School, and Smithtown East will suit up next against Sachem East on April 20.

— Photos by Steven Zaitz

It was a one-sided affair when Kings Park hosted John Glenn in a girl’s lacrosse Division II matchup. The Lady Kingsmen peppered the scoreboard with 10 unanswered points in the opening half before Glenn found the back of the cage nine minutes in. The Kings Park defense was swarming and unrelenting allowing only two goals from their visitors to put the game away 18-2 Monday afternoon. 

Kings Park senior midfielder Anne McGovern led the way with four goals and four assists, Mary Ellen Gilchriest had four goals of her own along with one assist, and eighth-grader Sophia Russo had two assists and two goals. Goalie Haley Abraham had a quiet afternoon in net, with four saves.

The win lifts Kings Park to 3-1 in league, and 4-1 overall. Kings Park hosted Rocky Point on Wednesday. Results were not available at press time.

— Photos by Bill Landon 

The Northport Lady Tiger lacrosse team continues to put up football-like numbers on the scoreboard, as they steamroll over all comers thus far, two weeks into the 2023 young season.

Northport’s latest road apple were visitors from Nassau County, the Long Beach Lady Bulldogs. The final score was 17-7. The Lady Tigers have outscored their opponents 65-23 in four games this year, all easy wins, and look every bit the team that won the Long Island Championship last year, despite graduating a minibus-load of 2022 All-American and All-State caliber players.

Junior Attacker Julia Huxtable had three goals and four assists and was orchestrating the offense masterfully from behind the net, as she and her teammates circled around hapless Long Beach goalkeeper Emily Backlin like a swarm of hungry buzzards. Versatile attacker/defender Kennedy Radziul was constantly moving without the ball to find cracks in the Bulldog defense, and she scored four goals and had two assists. Radziul also shared faceoff duties with Grace McCarthy and the duo won 61% at the X. Senior Sniper Haleigh Greenberg had three goals and two assists and despite losing highly prolific players like Kaylie Mackiewicz (All-American), Ella Cabrera (All-American), Isabella Germani (All-American) and Shannon Smith (All-New York State), who combined for 204 goals last year, she is loving the chemistry of this 2023 version of the team. 

“Northport has always been lucky to find girls who can play well and score year after year,” Greenberg said. “Even with those All-Americans having graduated, we know how to play as a team, and with everyone contributing the way they are, it makes us such a strong team.”

Northport was strong in this one, right from the opening whistle as Greenberg and Huxtable combined for five big ones in the first nine minutes as the Lady Tigers took a 10-4 lead into halftime. Radziul netted the last two of those ten.

On the other end, Northport goalkeeper Meghan Morris stood tall in net, making a number of acrobatic saves to frustrate Long Beach when they were able to penetrate in deep. However, the Lady Tiger defense was stingy in granting this access as back-liners Casey Koenig, Mary Breckling, Leah Riccardi and Haleigh’s sister Emma, a freshman, kept Bulldog scoring chances to a minimum, hound-dogging Long Beach into a multitude of turnovers and subsequent ground ball recoveries for Northport.

“Our defense is strong and physical, and we’re able to get a lot of the loose balls,” Emma Greenberg said, “When a ball hits the ground, it’s really just a matter of who wants it more and a defensive unit, we pride ourselves on getting those balls.”

Northport won 69% of the ground balls on Saturday, and they have hovered around that number all year so far.

The second half of the game more of the same with Northport holding leads of eight, nine or 10 for much of the game. Radziul scored two early in the second half, and junior midfielder Christina Lauro scored on her birthday to make the score 16-6 with just over six minutes remaining in the game. Haleigh Greenberg closed out the scoring for the Lady Tigers with a minute to go, as Huxtable assisted. 

“Hux is a great player, and she has great field vision and instincts,” Haleigh said.  “She is such a good player, one of the best teammates I’ve ever had and something about her as a person, that when she scores or makes a great play, it gives the whole team a boost of energy. She just has that way about her and we love her for it.”

Huxtable is humbled by this.

“It feels amazing to know my teammates think of me in this way,” said the junior Huxtable, who has 69 career points in two-plus season as a Lady Tiger.  “I’m always working hard to be the best teammate that I can possibly be, and I’m glad that I can make a positive impact on and off the field.”