CSH girls lacrosse team found California 'awesome'

Cold Spring Harbor's Samantha DeBellis fires a shot Cold Spring Harbor's Samantha DeBellis fires a shot on April 27, 2013. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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They were stunned, gasping for air and dripping sweat. To think, Cold Spring Harbor's girls lacrosse team traveled all the way to San Diego only to be outplayed by a less athletic group.

"We thought it would be fun, but they went a lot harder than expected," midfielder Lindsey Willcocks said.

"They probably practiced and prepared for us," Caroline Kiernan said. "We knew they were serious when she took her engagement ring off."

"She" was coach Danielle Skakandi, who along with her assistants and trainers, schooled the girls in a pick-up basketball game during their downtime in La Jolla, Calif., last weekend.

Oh, as for the lacrosse stuff: The Seahawks dominated two of California's top teams on what Willcocks called "the kind of spring break trip that makes your friends jealous."

Holly Logan had four goals and an assist and Sam DeBellis three goals in a 12-2 win over Scripps Ranch on April 11. Cold Spring Harbor then beat Coronado, 13-6, behind Ashley Lynch's three goals and five assists. Tara Atkinson added three goals and Brooke Jensen had two goals, five ground balls and two forced turnovers for the Seahawks (5-3). "Lacrosse is relatively new in California, so the teams weren't that great," DeBellis said, "but the trip itself was the most fun we've ever had."

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Skakandi contacted the California coaches and began planning the trip last season. The boys lacrosse team traveled to Florida a couple years ago, she said, "so the girls kept saying, 'We have to do something big, too.'" For several of the players, this was their first time traveling to the West Coast.

But to do so, the Seahawks had to foot the bill and started fundraising a year ago. They received donations from families and raised a portion of the money with raffles, lacrosse clinics and a talent show. "We were so excited when we heard it was possible, but we knew we'd have to earn our way there," Kiernan said. "But that made us appreciate it even more."

They also appreciated being able to wear shorts and slippers for a few days. Before returning home last Monday, the team went sightseeing, hit the beach and visited the San Diego Zoo. "We did a lot of bonding out there," Willcocks said. "Pretty much everything about this trip was awesome."

Well, since that basketball game didn't count.

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