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Upset alert! ESM girls lacrosse defeats Sayville

SAMANTHA GIACOLONE Goalie, Eastport-South Manor, So.

SAMANTHA GIACOLONE
Goalie, Eastport-South Manor, So. (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Ok, it wasn't that much of an upset, considering we're dealing with the Suffolk Class B champs, here. But you have to admit ESM's prospects weren't looking good after this past month. Want proof?

March 22: Sayville beats Class A powerhouse Ward Melville. The entire girls lacrosse collective goes, 'oh, snap.'

April 13: Sayville manhandles Class C state champion Shoreham-Wading River, 12-5.

April 15: Shoreham beats Eastport, 8-6 in what ESM coach Becky Thorn called a heartbreaker.

...sooooooo logic dictates that today's contest against Sayville was headed toward the 'L' column. They even went down 5-3 at the break. Well, ESM asks said logic to kindly take a long walk on a short pier.

Freshman Kaeli Huff went one-on-one with a defender, cut to the front of the cage, and scored with 14:18 left to play to cap a five-goal run, eventually giving the Sharks the 8-7 win in Division II. Huff and Dakota Mason scored twice in that stretch, giving ESM the 8-5 lead. But this is Sayville we're talking about, and they weren't going down without a fight. With a man-up and about three minutes left to play, Kaitlyn Wandeltd scored twice to draw them to within two. Sayville had a chance to tie with 30 seconds left, but Samantha Giacolone (you know, her) made a save on a free position attempt to preserve the victory. She had 12 saves.

"This is what I've been looking for all season," said coach Becky Thorn. "At halftime, we talked to them to get their spirits up. We're probably going to see [Sayville] again [in the playoffs]...Some of the girls were there for the Sayville/Shoreham game, and they saw that they crushed Shoreham, so I think they were a little nervous.

"This is definitely a building block game."