Shorthanded SWR girls rally for NYS 'C' title
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- For Shoreham-Wading River players and fans, the texts went something like this: "The girls just came from behind to win the state title."
Hours passed. Finally, a buzz and a response. "The boys won, too."
"The girls were getting play-by-play texts from parents," coach Mary Bergmann said. "They were all hoping that when we went home, both buses would pull into the school at the same time, like last time."
It's been five years since the "last time," but for the second time in school history, Shoreham's boys and girls lacrosse teams won state titles yesterday. And though the boys won comfortably, details from the girls state Class C final would be enough to fill a cellphone screen a few times over.
Down by four goals early in the second half, the undermanned Wildcats scored seven straight to defeat Honeoye Falls-Lima, 11-9, at SUNY-Cortland.
Jessica Angerman took on three defenders, weaved to the crease and scored to give Shoreham an 8-7 lead with 15:43 left. The Wildcats, who played at least one player down for the entire second half, entered the break trailing 6-3 before allowing a seventh goal in the opening seconds.
"But that lit a spark under us," Bergmann said. "The momentum started swinging our way . . . and then after we scored our first transition goal, they were like, oh, we can do this."
Angerman scored that goal, too, igniting the game-winning run that was capped by two Alex Fehmel goals, with 14:37 remaining and 13:55 to go. The second one was a last-ditch flick that sent Fehmel flying feet over head -- an unintentional somersault that gave the Wildcats a 10-7 advantage.
"We weren't going to let up," Angerman said. "If we kept playing the way we can play, we were going to come out with the win we wanted."
Shoreham (17-3) scored seven goals while down by one or more players -- a result of five yellow cards. The fourth foul, with 2:20 left in the first, stripped the Wildcats of one player for the game, and the next foul, with 4:55 left, knocked off their second.
A player down, Shoreham switched an aggressive four-attack formation with four defenders to shore up goalie Lauren Daly.
"We had to talk about it a lot," Fehmel said. "It's hard because they have a lot of girls open . . . but I think we were extra intense."
That intensity was evident in Paulina Constant, who matched Angerman with three goals, and Daly, who snapped up the victory in the final 40 seconds -- making two big stops on balls destined for the tantalizing piece of net visible behind her outside shoulder.
"I'm almost used to it by now," defender Alyssa Fleming said. "I know when there's a big moment, she's going to step up and save it."
After that, it was time to play keepaway, a task that fell to Meredith Bushell, who despite an early-game injury that left her limping, sprinted out the final seconds. "It felt like my chest was collapsing," she said.
When the buzzer finally sounded, senior Katie Boden fell to her knees and grabbed her face. Shoreham girls have won five state titles dating to 2007, but this one, she said, had a little extra oomph.
"You feel the same sense of accomplishment, but it's definitely worth more in the situation we were in," Boden said. "Being down players and coming back on a seven-goal run? It doesn't get any better than that."