A North Shore girls’ lacrosse season that reached incredible heights ended in heartbreak just short of the program’s first county title in 10 years.
The top-seeded Vikings were attempting to run out the clock with a one-goal lead in the June 1 Class C championship game at Adelphi’s Motamed Field when Manhasset’s Alexandra Maliagros caused a turnover along the sideline with 33.8 seconds remaining to suddenly give the defending state champions renewed life.
Manhasset took full advantage with Caitlin Barrett knotting the score on a free position 8-meter shot with just 8.1 seconds left. Just minutes later Holly Newman suddenly ended North Shore’s season with an overtime goal 1:40 into the extra session.
“All we have ever asked them is to empty the tank and put everything out there and we couldn't ask more of what they gave," said first year North Shore coach Jaclyn Stevens. “It's hard right now and it definitely will sting for a while, but we did have a successful season and this was a great team that is very talented and put so much work in.”
The game-winner, which came after Manhasset forced another key turnover early in overtime, capped a late comeback in which North Shore led 12-9 with under six minutes remaining. A Shea Panzik goal with 5:45 left began the rally and a Newman tally three minutes later made it 12-11. North Shore won the ensuing draw control and attempted to kill the remainder of the clock against heavy Manhasset defensive pressure that ultimately led to the late caused turnover by Maliagros.
Prior to the late drama, North Shore was in command thanks to a monster game from senior midfielder Kylee Colbert, who finished with seven goals including six in the first half alone. Her final tally with 8:21 left in the second half gave North Shore a 12-9 advantage.
“She's just unbelievable with how she sees the field,” said Stevens of Colbert, who finished the season with 101 goals. “She's just a thoroughbred on both ends of the field and [Thursday] was the best game I've ever seen her play as she was placing the ball perfectly.”
Colbert came out firing early in the game scoring three straight goals in a 3:20 span after Manhasset had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. A Daniela Martini goal with just over a minute left before in the first half gave North Shore its largest lead of the game at 9-5 before Barrett answered with just 25.8 seconds left in the period to make 9-6 heading into halftime.
In addition to Colbert’s seven goals, the North Shore offense was also powered by two tallies from Ava Bartoli and Martini. Sophomore Alexandra Basile also registered a big goal with 19:39 left in the second half on a free position shot to end a 3-0 Manhasset run and grab a 10-8.
North Shore reached the county finals stage thanks to a dramatic 11-10 triple overtime win in the semifinals against fifth-seeded South Side May 26 with Colbert netting the game-winner to cap a rally from a 7-2 first half deficit.
The county finals marked a rematch of North Shore’s 8-4 victory against Manhasset April 25 as part of a historic season where the Vikings ascended into the Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Girls' Regional Top 10 Rankings for the northeast. North Shore also topped Garden City, 12-8 on April 11 for the program’s first win against the longtime New York State powerhouse in 28 years.
“The girls always gave it their all every single game,” said Stevens, who previously coached Wantagh to its first county title in 2015. “We had a lot of really big wins and want them to look back and know how successful they truly were."