CORTLAND, N.Y. - The disappointment and outright shock were obvious as Cold Spring Harbor left the field. The state Class C girls lacrosse title had slipped from the Seahawks' grasp in heartbreaking fashion.
Still, Holly Logan offered perspective: "We're all upset," the junior said, "but it's been a great journey and this season was a huge stepping-stone for us."
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That's the silver lining. And given the game's conclusion, there certainly should be no shame in the silver medal.
Molly Wood scored an improbable (and fortuitous) goal with two seconds left to give Skaneateles a 12-11 win in Saturday's state final as Cold Spring Harbor's hallmark season ended.
"Right now there are tears, but there have been so many smiles along the way," coach Danielle Skakandi said. "This doesn't take away from that. They made history for this school."
This group won the program's first Nassau championship since 1993 and earned its first trip to the state tournament. For that, Skakandi said, "I couldn't be more proud."
Brooke Jensen had three goals and an assist for the Seahawks and Logan, who played with a broken bone in her left hand, had two goals and two assists. The midfielder suffered the injury in the Long Island championship game and missed the state semifinal but insisted she wouldn't "sit out the state championship no matter what." And she didn't.
Ashley Lynch, Lindsey Willcocks and Tara Atkinson each added two goals and Haley Crosson made nine saves for Cold Spring Harbor (14-6). But in the game's final sequence, the Seahawks were done in by what Skakandi described as "bad luck" and what Wood called "pure luck."
With the score tied at 11, Skaneateles gained possession with three minutes left and successfully ran down the clock. The Lakers passed up two free-position opportunities and instead worked the ball around the perimeter to ensure the last shot would be theirs.
The attempt, with six seconds left, clanged off the right post, but the ball caromed directly to Wood, who was standing about 15 feet to the right. With a crowd bunched in front of the cage, Wood was unguarded and fired in the winner.
"I saw the ball in front of me, but it went right to her," Logan said. "Nobody had a chance to react."
Wood, Skaneateles' best player, had been held scoreless to that point and later said the Seahawks' defense made it difficult for her to even receive passes. "It was pure luck that it found my stick at that moment," Wood said. "It must've been fate."
Jensen gave CSH an 8-5 lead with 23:23 to go, but Hannah Powers (four goals) scored three times in three minutes to tie it for Skaneateles (22-1). Tara Atkinson put the Seahawks ahead 11-10, scoring off a feed from Jensen with 10:26 left, but Powers tied it again with 8:37 remaining.
"We're emotional and it really hurts right now," Lynch said, "but we should all be proud of what this team did."
As well they should be excited about its potential. Cold Spring Harbor graduates only one starter. Two questionable calls went against them in the waning minutes, including one that helped set up Skaneateles' last possession. The Seahawks made no excuses afterward, though, and instead looked ahead.
"We'll remember how we felt here," Logan said, "and that will pump us up next year. Now we know that we have to come back and finish it."