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Big Win Alert: Massapequa over Wantagh
And we’re taking partial credit for this game having been the thriller it was. Sure, Massapequa and Wantagh are among Nassau’s best teams and they’ve forged a de facto rivalry over the years. Sure, the win would’ve meant a lot to either team. But most important was their standing in the Nassau Top 10 on this blog. I mean, can there be any greater motivation? That’s a rhetorical question and the answer is an emphatic “NO!”
(Disclaimer: I’m joking.)
Massapequa rallied from a second-half deficit to beat Wantagh, 16-15, in double-overtime last night at John J. Burns Park. Danielle Doherty’s goal with 20 seconds left in the first overtime was the winner.
The Chiefs had trailed 14-11midway through the second half but tied it on Rory Sadoff’s goal with 3:25 left in regulation. Colleen Lovett gave Wantagh the lead again with 2:14 remaining in the first overtime, but Massapequa’s Rosie Pimental tied it. After Doherty scored, the Chiefs defense withstood Wantagh’s attack and eventually took control with turnovers. Massapequa successfully stalled and drained about a minute-and-half off the clock in the second overtime.
Doherty had five goals and five draw controls, and Sadoff had three goals and two assists to lead the Chiefs (8-1) in non-league. Kelsey O’Brien added two goals and three assists, and Hayley Burke and Rosie Pimental each scored twice. Nicole Scicutella and Laura Waldron each had four groundballs and two forced turnovers, and Charlotte Wright made seven saves.
Colleen Lovett scored five goals and Brenna Connally added three for Wantagh (6-3).
Massapequa coach Megan Zimmer
Coming back from down 14-11: “We were leading basically the whole game and then I we got a little tired and let up a little, and they went on a run to take the lead… Winning draw controls and 50-50 balls was huge. We play Wantagh every year in non-league and we know they’re an aggressive team. We knew we had to win the 50-50s and make those hustle plays. We did that down the stretch.”
Wantagh beat Massapequa, 10-9, last year: “Little bit of revenge. We always want to play them because they have a great program and it’s always a good test for us.”
Playoff atmosphere; everyone rushing the field and being giddy afterwards: “I was excited. We were down by 3 and we could’ve given up, but we fought back. I’m really proud of the defense. They won us the game. It’s a big win for us and it’s a confidence boost.”
Scoring the winning goal: “It’s incredible; probably the best feeling I’ve ever had on a lacrosse field. It wasn’t really a play, I just saw an open lane and I took it… This was sweet, especially after last year’s game when we lost to them by one. We were in their position last year.”
Does this win boost confidence? “This is such a confidence booster. It gives us confidence going into games like Farmingdale where we feel we can beat any team.”
Rushing the field and celebrating: “We knew it was going to be a battle and it would be a close game, and they’re kind of a rival. We haven’t beaten them in a while, so this was a big game and I think it sets the tone for the season.”
Defender Caitlyn O’Connell had three groundballs and forced two turnovers.
Massapequa's near-flawless execution late in the game: “It was the most intense game I’ve ever played and it came down to heart. I’ve never felt that before. Wantagh did a great job, but my team was amazing in the last six minutes.“
After taking the lead in overtime and stalling in the final minutes: “That was one of the most fun experiences. I’m watching the scoreboard the whole time, just counting down the seconds.”
The defense taking control late with turnovers: “It’s whoever wants it the most, really. If you go out there thinking and believing, “I’m going to get that ball,’ you’re going to get it. That’s the mindset I have every time I see a 50-50 ball.”
The importance of this win: It was a great feeling because this is one of our tougher games this season. We kind of considered this as a statement game – we want to send a message to the other teams that we’re out here to win. It was a collective team effort and that’s great to see.
How good is Massapequa? “This group can go far. We’re all on the same page, we work well together. We’re a cohesive team and that’s important if you’re going to get anywhere. Everyone’s got the same goal; everyone is focused on being a great team, beating those tough teams you’ll see in the playoffs.”