A year ago, on this very field and against this opponent, Danielle Doherty experienced all the emotions that come with having her team compete in the Nassau Class A girls lacrosse semifinals. She felt the angst and tension and, eventually, the glee of victory.
Except she wasn’t part of it.
“It was fun watching us win, but it was really rough for me not being out there; that wasn’t a good time,” said Doherty, a Massapequa senior now a year removed from a torn left ACL that cost her most of last season. “This time it’s different; being healthy, being involved.”
Was she ever. The midfielder crashed, cut and contorted in the crease on her way to four goals and three assists, leading the Chiefs to a 14-7 win over No. 3 Port Washington last night at Adelphi.
Doherty, a standout committed to USC, was the Chiefs leading scorer as a sophomore. She is again this season, and her 15 points in the team’s last two games has proven this much: She’s really back.
“Danielle lifts our competitive level,” teammate Colleen Bourgal said. “Not only is she an awesome player, but she’s one of the most competitive people and she makes everyone want to raise their game. It’s huge having her back.”
Massapequa’s win sets up another showdown with Farmingdale on May 29. It’ll be the ninth straight year the rivals have squared off in the final, and Massapequa has been the bridesmaid in the last seven.
But first there was Port Washington...
The second-seeded Chiefs (8-7) took control from the outset, never trailed and went up 3-0 on Doherty’s goal 6:06 in. Danielle Rosmarin and Lauren DeSimone scored late in the first half to pull the Vikings within 5-3, but Massapequa opened the second half with another 3-0 spurt. Rosie Pimental’s goal put the Chiefs up 10-4 with 15:15 to go.
Bourgal had three goals, Hayley Burke had two goals and two assists, and Kristin Yevoli scored twice for Massapequa. Samantha DePasquale made three saves in the win.
Port Washington has “a lot of scoring threats,” defender Jamie Ahrens said, “so we marked up on them and sent slides early and often.”
Allison Shamir had three goals, DeSimone and Rosmarin each scored two goals, and Michele Lammers made six saves for the Vikings (5-11).
The Chiefs are buoyed somewhat by their performance against Farmingdale in the regular season. It was a loss a 6-5 loss on April 29, but for the first time in years, they played the Dalers close and limited their potent offense.
“It’s going to be in the back of our minds, knowing that we kept up with [Farmingdale], and I think we can take momentum from today’s game,” Bourgal said. “I grew up hearing, ‘Beat the Dalers!’ We want this championship badly.”