It was a battle until the final seconds.
In a frenzied finish, four goals were scored in the final minute, ending with Harborfields’ varsity girls’ lacrosse player Angela Deren scoring the game-winning goal with 5.6 seconds left for a big 8-7 victory over Miller Place Tuesday.
“It feels great,” said Deren, a senior attack. “Our attack and our riding helped, and our goalie saved us a lot. It was a great team win.”
Deren was right — the Tornadoes’ sophomore goalkeeper Erin Tucker kept her team in the game, coming up with 15 saves on the evening.
She said she felt the excitement as the last seconds ticked off the clock.
“The energy on the field was amazing,” she said. “It felt like we won states, so it was awesome to be a part of.”
Miller Place started off scoring the first two goals of the game, and by halftime, had a 3-2 advantage.
Harborfields junior attack Mikayla Bergin scored the game-tying goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but Miller Place senior midfielder Alyssa Parrella helped her team edge ahead with her second goal of the afternoon off a foul shot.
“Although it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, I know every single girl on my team put in the hustle and the heart today,” she said.
After Parrella tied the game, 5-5 with 6:40 left to play, she got a foul shot, but Tucker came up with one of her crucial saves.
“I knew I had the support of all of my teammates out there, which gave me the confidence I needed to make the saves when I needed to,” Tucker said. “It felt awesome to be able to help my team.”
Harborfields scored for the advantage, and after assisting on the goal, Harborfields senior midfielder Ella Simkins received a long pass up and across the field from Deren and shot the ball into an open right side for a 7-5 advantage with 55 seconds left to play.
With the game on the line, the Panthers pushed to even the score. Harborfields head coach Kerri McGinty said she knew Miller Place had what it took to rally back.
“We knew that Miller Place was going to be really good, really athletic, have a lot of speed — we didn’t get off to the start we were hoping for, but what’s most important is that the girls had a team win here,” she said. “We’re a very dynamic team this year. We have a lot of goal scorers, great defenders, great midis, we have that mentality of sharing the wealth as well, which makes us a much harder team to prepare for.”
Parrella said what ignited the team to come back was senior attack Allison Turtorro’s goal after she received a pass in front of the cage with 34.5 seconds left.
“It gave us that much more adrenaline,” Parrella said. “That next draw control was huge for us.”
Miller Place won possession of the draw, and the team sprinted down the field as fast as it could. That’s when Parrella did her thing.
“I just really charged to the net and put in everything I had to score that goal,” she said of her fourth goal of the day.
She scored five goals in the prior game in a 15-4 win over Lindenhurst.
“Everyone went crazy. It was a big moment for us to step up and show other teams what we’re made of,” she said.
After a foul forced a turnover in Miller Place’s zone, the Tornadoes had the opportunity to win with seconds left, and did.
“We all came together as a unit and rallied back,” Simkins said. “I feel like we’re all trying to piece together what we lost, so I think that we’re looking really good now, and as the season progresses I see us getting better and better.”
Although losing in the final seconds deflated her team, Parrella said things are coming together for her team, as it adjusts to a new coach and a new outlook on the game.
“Coach [Thomas] Carro told us to keep our heads up — this is only the beginning of what we’re calling our ‘new beginning,’” she said. “Looking back on last year, we definitely had a lot of weaknesses and that’s what Coach Cara really wanted us to focus on was our weaknesses. We’ve been doing stick work 24/7, shooting, working with our goalies, a little bit of everything, which is showing in the progress in our play. I think we’re just becoming a whole new team and we’re looking really good this year, so I hope we surprise other teams.”