The Nassau Class C girls’ lacrosse playoff bracket is starting to strongly resemble that of last spring, although North Shore would like to make some changes moving forward.
In a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal, the third-seeded Lady Vikings defeated No. 6 Lynbrook, 20-6, on May 16 behind a balanced scoring effort that saw senior Caitlin Colbert (four), junior Micaela Fitzpatrick (four), sophomore Casey Colbert (three) and freshman Kate Gilliam (three) combine for 14 goals. The Lady Owls, who entered the game winners of seven straight, got three goals apiece from junior Elizabeth Murphy and sophomore Jenna Hendrickson.
North Shore advances to face No. 2 Wantagh in the semifinals on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Adelphi. The Lady Warriors eliminated the Lady Vikings in last year’s semis and also took this season’s Conference I battle in come-from-behind fashion, 9-8, on May 3.
“We’re really excited to face Wantagh and I think we’re ready,” said Caitlin Colbert, who opened the scoring 6:44 into the quarterfinal. “It’s really important to get to the finals,” she added. “We’re a very close-knit team and we want to go as far as we can.”
Lynbrook, which lost 15-3 to North Shore in the 2018 playoffs, made plenty of strides with a young roster. “We were much more competitive in this game compared to last year,” Lady Owls coach Vin Tetro said. “It was like night and day. We possessed the ball a lot more and created more chances. Where we struggled was clearing. Three or four times in the first half we couldn’t get to a loose ball in front of our cage and they scored. It doesn’t take much for a team like that to capitalize and make it an entirely different game.”
North Shore (7-9 overall) scored the first five goals but quickly learned Lynbrook (12-5) wasn’t going to go down without a fight. Hendrickson, who’s hat trick gave her 73 goals on the year, scored twice and Murphy once in a span of 52 seconds to cut the margin to 5-3. “We showed that we could punch back,” Tetro said. “That’s a great sign for such a young team.”
The hosts responded, however, and put their well-rounded attack on display as five different Lady Vikings scored during a six-and-a-half-minute span that upped their lead to a commanding 11-3. “We have two sets of sisters and it definitely helps with chemistry,” said North Shore coach Megan McCormack, citing the Colberts [Caitlin, Casey and Kylee) and Fitzpatricks (Micaela and Emma). “We’ve got a hard-working group that moves the ball well and finishes. We knew that Lynbrook plays a zone defense and one of the ways to beat that is to move the ball quickly and find the cutters.”
Murphy closed the scoring in the first half and Hendrickson found the back of the net 1:27 into the second half to inch the Lady Owls within 11-5 before North Shore stepped on the gas again. Junior goalie Emma Russo made seven saves behind a defense led by seniors Andrea Liotta and Emma Fitzpatrick.