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North Shore, Cold Spring Harbor in Nassau "C" Final
And so the stage is set…
North Shore will face Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau Class C final at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Adelphi.
Amanda Johansen’s goal with 54 seconds left lifted North Shore over Seaford, 13-12, Thursday night in a semifinal. North Shore had rallied from down two in the final minutes.
Johansen had seven goals and two assists to lead No. 2 North Shore (13-3). Tess Korten and Micaela Dussel each added two goals and Alexis Greene made nine saves.
Emma Schait scored four goals, Amelia Taylor had three goals and an assist, and Ali Glazer scored twice for No. 3 Seaford (12-5). Diana Rice, who was superb in goal, made 12 saves – several of them on difficult shots.
Seaford had trailed for most of the game, but the Vikings surged in the second half and Taylor’s goal gave them a 12-10 lead with 5:05 remaining. She exploded from behind the right of the cage, blew by a defender and fired from about 5 yards out.
Dussel scored with 3:01 left to pull North Shore within a goal, and Johansen tied it on a free-position shot with 1:55 left.
Before the ensuing draw, Seaford was whistled for an infraction and possession was awarded to North Shore. Referees said a Seaford player attempted to call a timeout but the team was without one. (As you can imagine, the Seaford fans were not pleased.)
The Vikings were methodical in setting up a play on offense, eventually attacking with 1:08 remaining – but Seaford’s Diana Rice made a great save. North Shore, however, got the rebound and ran another play for Johansen. She darted in from the left, had room, and fired a low shot from about 3 yards in front of the goal.
North Shore won the last draw and its stall offense ran out the clock.
The county final matchup is one that was highly anticipated last season, actually. North Shore and Cold Spring Harbor had been favored to square off, but Locust Valley upset the Seahawks in the semifinals. North Shore went on to win the Nassau title. Cold Spring Harbor beat North Shore, 12-11, in the regular-season finale to capture the Conference IV title. It was the fourth straight game between the two to be decided by one goal –and the Seahawks have won the last three.
What goes through your mind after losing the lead and finding yourselves down 12-10 with a few minutes left? “We wanted this so bad. We’ve had almost three weeks without a game, just practices. We’ve been practicing hard and getting prepared, so we weren’t going to let that go to waste.”
“We knew what we had to do. We had to spread out on offense and take smart shots. In the end, we executed it.”
Winning the draws down the stretch: “Draws are always huge. We’ve had some problems with that throughout the season and it’s something we’ve worked on a lot in practice. Today showed we’ve improved at that.”
Your winning goal: “It was a big moment. But I wouldn’t have gotten it if my teammates didn’t find me. They got the ball to me and I had an opening.”
North Shore beat Seaford, 20-12, in the regular season meeting on April 21, but this game was much different: “They came out today really wanting it. You could tell from the start they weren’t going to give up. They came out hard and we had to match that and get back at them.”
Facing archrival Cold Spring Harbor in the final: “It’s always a huge game between us. We lost the last few and we don’t want that to happen again. We’ll do whatever we can to change the outcome.”
Vikings coach Jeff Butt
Rallying back in the last five minutes: “When we called timeouts, we just wanted to settle the girls. As a staff, we had to remain mellow ourselves. Do our thing, don’t get frazzled about what they’re doing – just go after the groudnballs and run our offense correctly. The girls executed that.”
Johansen’s play down the stretch: “Amanda’s been excellent for us all year – and for the last four years. She goes through spurts like that. She loves the transition. She’s a great athlete in the sense that she knows when she needs to step up and she does.”
Winning the draws: “Possession is huge; you’ve got to have the rock in order to anything. Winning the last couple draws – which is something we’ve struggled with this season – was big for us.”
Your take on the controversial call: “Supposedly, one of the Seaford girls called a timeout, but they didn’t have any timeouts left. I’m not sure, I wasn’t out there, but I think that’s what the refs said.”
The challenge Seaford posed: “When we played the first time, we were just clicking on all cylinders and we went up big early. Today they came out well and all their big girls stepped up. We felt this was the way it might be after the first game, knowing what [Seaford has] done throughout the season, that this would be a different game.”
Facing Cold Spring Harbor again: “It’s back to the basics. A couple things weren’t working for us that night and we’ll have to correct those. It’s going to be a battle between the two of us. It always is and probably always will be.”
As for Cold Spring Harbor…
Holly Logan had six goals and an assist, and Haley Crosson made 11 saves as top-seeded Cold Spring Harbor beat Locust Valley, 18-6, in the earlier semifinal at Adelphi.
The Seahawks took control early, led 9-3 at halftime, and maintained that pace in the second half. Kelly Anne Sherlock and Jillian Lee each added three goals for the Cold Spring Harbor (14-2), which last reached the final in 2010.
Bairre Reilly scored four goals and Cassandra Vnook made 10 saves for fourth-seeded Locust Valley (10-7), which had pulled a 13-12 double overtime upset of Cold Spring Harbor in last year’s semifinal.
Seahawks coach Danielle Skakandi
Beating Locust Valley to avenge last season’s loss: “We weren’t going to take them lightly at all. I think we wanted this game. The girls were excited to be facing Locust Valley after they beat us last year. We were better prepared this year. We know what it felt like walking off the field last year and we wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again.”
Confidence going into the county final: “We’re not overly confident because we have the toughest task. We’re the No. 1 seed and the hardest thing to do is stay there. It’s easier to get there in the regular season, but we have to work even harder now to keep ourselves at this level. It’s a confidence boost to get this win and go in excited, but we’re still looking to improve.”
Coach Skakandi’s mother, Debbie aka “Mama” Skakandi
Excitement level watching your daughter’s team play this well: “This is unbelievable. It’s great! I’m so trilled for Cold Spring Harbor and I can’t wait for next week. Can’t wait!”
Victoria Kotowski (a goal and two assists)
The team’s dominating performance: “It was awesome because a lot of people were saying, ‘Oh, this happened last year. Let’s see if it’ll happen again.’ It was great to have a standout game and step up like this. People like Holly Logan and Haley Crosson big a great job.”
Crosson’s performance in her first playoff start: “She didn’t know that she was going to start; it was kind of a surprise thing. She stepped to the plate and was great. She had fast clears, saved a lot in-tight shots. We’re proud of her.”
Feeling going into the final: “We’re getting stuff done in my senior year that we haven’t before,” she said, alluding to the Cold Spring Harbor field hockey team reaching its first Nassau Class B final. “Hopefully we can keep this going.”
Headline: "KOTOWSKI ATTACKS COACH ON SIDELINES"
Sub-header: Team chemistry issues evident as senior captain assaults head coach after semifinal.
I should put this disclaimer out, lest anyone be misled. This was a joke. They're not really feuding... as far as we know.