Although it put in a strong effort, the Westhampton Beach girls lacrosse team’s playoff run was short-lived as it lost, 13-9, at Rocky Point in the opening round of the Suffolk County Class B postseason on Saturday afternoon.
The loss ended the season for the Lady Hurricanes, who were in the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Rocky Point advanced to the Class B semifinals, which were Tuesday, against defending county champion Eastport South Manor. ESM defeated Comsewogue 17-2 on Saturday to advance to the semis.
After a strong start from both teams, Rocky Point, the third seed in the bracket, went on a 4-0 run in the middle of the first half, taking a 6-2 lead on Kristine Loscalzo’s goal at 6:23. Westhampton Beach, the sixth seed, ended the run with 1:51 remaining in the first half on a goal from junior Lauren Smith. But the Lady Eagles scored two quick goals to take an 8-3 lead into halftime.
“We started out really strong,” Westhampton Beach head coach Ann Naughton said. “The game plan that we had we were executing. But then we started to turn the ball over in crucial moments where we needed to keep possession.
“So then you start creating this deficit that you have to make up,” she continued, “and once you have that deficit you start changing your game plan to react to it.”
After Rocky Point sophomore Adriana Greco scored to make it 12-6 with 10:50 remaining in the game, Naughton called a lengthy timeout, and whatever she said to her team seemed to work. The Lady Canes went on a 3-1 run, making it a 13-9 score with 3:19 remaining after junior Alexa Smith’s free-possession goal.
The type of errors that plagued Westhampton Beach early in the game returned in the final minutes. The Lady Canes turned the ball over in their offensive end, and Rocky Point was able to stall the rest of the game.
Loscalzo, a senior, finished with a hat trick and two assists for Rocky Point. Senior Alyssa Milano scored four goals and sophomore Adriana Greco finished with a hat trick. Alexa Smith led the scoring for Westhampton Beach with four goals. Lauren Smith and junior Zoe Recchion scored two goals each while freshman Bella Recchion scored a goal.
Overall, it was a successful season for the Lady Canes. The goal for the team all season long was to make the playoffs, which it accomplished for the first time under Naughton.
“This is all playoff atmosphere that our girls learned a lot today,” she said. “If we would have won, it would have been an extremely big upset because we haven’t been here before. Rocky Point has won counties before.
“Unfortunately, we have to wait a whole year again to get back here,” she added. “There’s a lot of work that goes in to the offseason.”
Naughton pointed out that her four seniors—Sammie Vickers, Katelyn Ogeka, Sydney Marks and Kate Lewis—meant a great deal to the program and will be surely missed.
“I’ve had the opportunity to coach them for four years now. They’re a special group,” she said. “They’ve set a lot of good examples and traditions that the younger kids can carry with them and keep getting stronger and stronger.”
With the majority of the team returning next season, the goal will be to advance past the first round.
“They’re a committed bunch and I think Westhampton Beach is now going to be a program that teams are going to have to respect and watch out for,” Naughton said.