The Westhampton Beach girls lacrosse team couldn’t have had a more dramatic regular-season finale on Monday evening: Win, and the Lady Hurricanes would have reached the postseason for the third season in a row. Lose, and the season would have come to an abrupt end.
Hosting Huntington, a top four Class B team, which had already solidified its standing in the playoffs, Westhampton Beach came through with a 14-13 sudden death overtime victory on Senior Night. Nope, can’t really get any more dramatic than that.
“We talked about having a defining game, and we waited until the last night of the season, but we finally had it,” Westhampton Beach head coach Mary Bergmann said. “This is a good way to head into the playoffs. Had this been any other game, I don’t know if the drive and motivation of what we had tonight would have been there.
“But, as I told the girls after the win, everything that happened before this game is wiped clean,” she added.
According to Bergmann, her Lady Hurricanes (7-7 Division II, 7-8 overall, 117.88 power points) will be the seventh seed in Class B and play their first-round playoff game at second-seeded Sayville this Friday, May 15. The game is tentatively scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.—go to www.sectionxi.org for updates. The Lady Golden Flashes defeated the Lady Canes, 16-10, at home back on April 21.
Huntington scored five unanswered goals to start the game only to see that lead dissipate as both teams were tied at halftime. After more back-and-forth play in the second half, Westhampton Beach found itself down a goal with just less than a minute to go, but it caused a turnover and brought the ball into its own offensive zone. With about 20 seconds remaining in regulation, junior Caitlin Smith tied the game to send it to overtime.
Both teams scored a goal in the first overtime, forcing a sudden death overtime period. With 1:56 remaining, junior Bella Recchion scored the game-winner off a feed from Smith.
Smith finished with four goals and two assists, while Recchion had two goals. Freshman Hailey Daleo finished with a hat trick and also had an assist, while senior Sarah Culver scored twice. Senior Brianna Moore and junior Julia Lewis each picked up four ground balls and each caused four turnovers, which was key in the win. And freshman Eleanor Kast made 15 saves in goal, two of which came in waning minutes of the first overtime.
“We weren’t winning draw controls in the first half of the season, which really hurt us,” Bergmann explained. “Then we shifted some things, and we have a pretty young team, so we’ve been working on confidence and getting everybody on the same page.
“We needed to be operating from the goalie to the last attacker tonight and that’s what we did,” she continued. “We made mistakes but we worked hard to get them back. We hadn’t had a defensive game like that in a while.”
A 16-6 loss to Hauppauge at home on Saturday put the Lady Canes in the predicament they found themselves in on Monday night. The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first half and never looked back. Westhampton Beach had six different scorers in the game.
Westhampton Beach picked up a 19-2 victory over Deer Park at home on May 6. The Lady Canes led 12 -1 at halftime. Recchion had four goals and four assists, Daleo had two goals and four assists and Culver finished with a hat trick.
The Westhampton Beach boys lacrosse team is 1-7 this season in games that have been decided by three goals or less, and it continued that trend last week. The Hurricanes lost, 7-5, at Miller Place on May 5, then suffered a 5-4 loss at Comsewogue on Friday.
Westhampton Beach (2-12 League III, 2-13 overall) and Comsewogue were knotted up at 2-2 at halftime, but the Warriors scored three consecutive goals in the second half to take a 5-2 lead. The Canes came back with two late goals but couldn’t find another to at least tie the game and send it to overtime. Devin Laube scored two goals, while Dylan Laube had a goal and two assists. Henry Moreta scored a goal and assisted on another and Patrick Dean made 14 saves between the pipes.
Devin Laube scored a hat trick in the loss to Miller Place. Harrison Aponte also scored, and Moreta, Dylan Laube, Zak Jones and Justin Smith each had one assist. Dean had 14 saves in goal.