CORTLAND, N.Y. -- To pull off what Farmingdale did in the final eight minutes took exceptional patience and composure.
The chaos came later at SUNY Cortland: pile-ups, leaping chest bumps, tossed sticks and primal screams.
Oh, and championship plaques.
Farmingdale, with a lead, successfully drained the clock with one epic possession and held on to beat Baldwinsville, 8-5, Saturday in the Class A girls lacrosse state final.
“A million things are going through my mind and I’m just trying to not lose the ball,” said Amanda Turturro, who dipped and danced out of triple teams and literally ran in circles as the Dalers played keep-away for the last eight minutes. “Time seems to go really slowly in situations like that.”
Then the horn sounded and Farmingdale, on this improbable journey, captured its first state title since 2010.
“This is the best feeling in the world,” goalie Olivia Kirk said. “We were underdogs, pushed to our limit, but we accomplished every goal we set out to.”
And Nadine Hadnagy delivered on every promise she made. The midfielder had three goals, two assists and four caused turnovers to lead Farmingdale (16-3).
It was Hadnagy who, after a last-minute collapse in last year’s Long Island championship, vowed she wouldn’t allow the team to again fall short of the state tournament. And once here, she all but guaranteed victory.
“There are five of us [of the 13 seniors] who were here for the state championship last time,” said Hadnagy, a Maryland-bound senior who was named tournament MVP. “For us, we had that taste and wanted it again. And we wanted to let the younger girls experience it.”
Hadnagy’s second goal -- a liner from 7 yards -- gave Farmingdale a 5-4 lead with 21:43 remaining. She scored again two minutes later, driving off the right wing through contact and hitting from up close.
“Physical talent aside, Nadine’s intangibles are a huge factor,” Dalers coach Shari Campbell said. “Just having her on our side makes everyone feel a little more confident, and she has a calming influence.”
That was needed early in the second half. Farmingdale jumped out to an easy 3-0 lead five minutes in, but missed shots and Baldwinsville’s zone defense held them scoreless for a 20:37 stretch. And the Bees chipped away, eventually tying it at 3 on Sarah Klaben’s goal 30 seconds out of halftime.
Tara Wahl answered for the Dalers 11 seconds later - on a fast break off the draw - but Amari Pollard’s free-position tied it with 23:03 to go.
“We knew they’d make a run eventually,” Hadnagy said, “so it was on us to stay focused and respond.”
As they had throughout the playoffs.
"I don't think words can describe what I'm feeling right now," freshman Kim Amazon said. "We're gonna go crazy on the bus ride home!"
Farmingdale’s defense held its opponents to a combined 11 goals in the state tournament. Yesterday, “we started in man and then switched to our backer to throw them off a little,” said defender Samantha Brescia, who received all-tournament honors, as did Turturo and Kirk (five saves).
Wahl and Turturro each scored twice and Emily Marlow’s goal with 11:56 left put them up 8-4. Abbey Foote scored for Baldwinsville (15-6) with 9:44 to go, but Courtney McPartland won a jump ball at 8:33, and thus began Farmingdale’s lengthy hold.
The Dalers, this season, practiced seven-minute stall possessions, players said. It showed in the smart passes across the perimeter, dodges out of double teams, and Turturro’s zig-zagging moves.
But about that composure...
“I actually started crying with like 30 seconds left,” said Turturro, a senior headed to Rutgers. “That’s when it hit me that I’m ending my career knowing I walked off the field as a winner ”
They celebrated on it as champions.