The South Side girls’ lacrosse team picked the right time to rediscover its game.
Following a tough 1-8 stretch, the Lady Cyclones bounced back with three straight wins, including two big conference matchups, as they wrapped up the regular season. Coach Rob Devlin knew moving to the top conference would be a challenge and credited the girls for adjusting to the tougher competition.
“Offensively, they’re moving so much quicker and seeing their opportunities,” he said. “Defensively, they’re all so much more in synch. It’s really been fun to watch them grow.”
South Side fell to 3-8 overall with a heartbreaking 12-11 home overtime loss to Locust Valley on April 26, but rebounded by outscoring Carle Place by seven in the first half en route to a 15-11 win three days later. The Lady Frogs scored the first three goals in the second half to put a scare into the Lady Cyclones, but the South Siders were able to hang on.
The more confident Lady Cyclones began May with a 15-10 victory over North Shore that improved their conference record to 2-5. Junior middie Katie McMahon dominated the Lady Vikings with six goals and four assists and fellow captain Julia Gentile helped celebrate her senior night with four tallies and three helpers.
“They upped their intensity knowing that North Shore was a league game,” Devlin said. “I think they went in with that attitude of, ‘OK, this is a big conference game’ and they were excited and focused.”
The May 3 contest at Long Beach was tightly contested as South Side was facing a motivated Lady Marines squad hosting their senior night. But sophomore Ella Delmond (four goals), Emily Iacobellis and McMahon (two goals apiece) helped spoil the festivities by leading the Lady Cyclones to a 10-8 win.
The wins proved big for South Side, which lost Monday’s season finale at Garden City to finish in a three-way tie for sixth in the conference with Long Beach and North Shore (all 3-6.) The Lady Cyclones, who had an overall record of 6-9, held the tiebreaker with both schools and Devlin believes his team will be a No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
McMahon finished the season on fire with 36 goals in her last nine games to finish with 47. Her 72 points tied her for 12th in Nassau County.
“She’s been doing a little more on the lower attack end,” Devlin said. “She’s been getting a couple of more fast break goals, which typically middies wouldn’t get.”
Gentile, who scored five times against Carle Place, had 18 goals in her last eight games for a total of 27, one better than Delmond.
South Side, despite an 8-8 record in Conference II, advanced to the county semifinals last year. Devlin is confident that his team’s play of late will result in a repeat performance in the coming weeks.
“If we just keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing, they’ll find themselves in Adelphi,” he said. “They definitely should be there.”