Freshman Kate Kotowski scores winner for Cold Spring Harbor in LI Class C title game

Cold Spring Harbor's girls lacrosse team celebrates its Cold Spring Harbor's girls lacrosse team celebrates its victory as time expires in the Long Island Class C title game against Bayport-Blue Point on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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Sam DeBellis yelled to Kate Kotowski, "Be aggressive! Go to goal!"

Who better to give such advice than DeBellis, whose seven goals helped put Cold Spring Harbor on the verge of a championship.

"My teammate told me to take it," Kotowski said, "so I took it."

It pays to listen.

The freshman scored the winner, lifting Cold Spring Harbor to a 13-12 double-overtime win over Bayport-Blue Point Sunday to capture the Long Island Class C girls lacrosse title.

Kotowski drove inside, slipped a defender and fired from close range to put the Seahawks ahead with 11 seconds left in the first overtime, and Cold Spring Harbor held on to secure its first L.I. title since 1993.

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"This is amazing," DeBellis said. "I can't find the words to express how this feels."

No matter, because this image was worth much more: The Seahawks, players and coaches, rushing the field in celebration as the tears of joy flowed.

It was part exhilaration, part relief. Cold Spring Harbor stalled to drain the clock in the second overtime, but the teams exchanged turnovers in the final seconds. The Phantoms gained possession deep in CSH territory with three seconds remaining and drew a foul, but officials ruled it occurred as time expired.

"I'm still alive," Seahawks coach Danielle Skakandi said with a grin. "I thought for sure I was going to have a heart attack at some point in this game."

Both teams erased two-goal deficits in the second half. Brooke Jensen's free-position score tied it at 11 for Cold Spring Harbor with 38 seconds left in regulation after Katie Hudson forced a turnover near midfield. Tara Atkinson (two goals) put them ahead 33 seconds into overtime, but Nicole Copping answered for Bayport-Blue Point with 1:13 left in OT.

The Seahawks were without star midfielder Holly Logan, who injured her wrist early on. But Jensen, who returned after missing a month because of appendix surgery, helped CSH win 12 of the final 19 draws. DeBellis repeatedly cut inside and received one-timers from Kotowski and Lindsey Willcocks -- three assists each -- to beat BBP's zone.

Haley Crosson made six saves for CSH (13-5), which faces Bronxville in a state semifinal at noon Friday at SUNY Cortland.

Cassie Stucklen had four goals and Julia Imbo scored three goals for the Phantoms (14-4), who had captured their first Suffolk title.

"We might wear our eyeblack the next few days," Kotowski said, "maybe even keep our uniforms on."

They can. She went to goal and now they're going to states.

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