Julia Glynn leads Manhasset to state lacrosse title

Manhasset players celebrate following the game against Victor

Manhasset players celebrate following the game against Victor during the NYSPHSAA Class B final at SUNY Cortland on Saturday, June 7, 2014. (Credit: Rich Barnes)

CORTLAND N.Y. - The Manhasset players positioned themselves, posing for a postgame group photo. And Danielle Gallagher jumped into the picture . . . literally.

As the cameras began to click away, the Indians' coach -- who typically is strait-laced -- hopped forward and performed an awkward-looking cartwheel to the absolute delight of her girls lacrosse team.

"She's ready for the Olympics!" senior Erin Coleman said, laughing. "Give her a gold medal." They did, but it wasn't for acrobatics.

Because Manhasset seemingly flipped a switch and flipped the script, rebounding from a dreadful start Saturday to beat Victor, 11-7, for the state Class B championship.

"The cartwheel itself wasn't good," Gallagher admitted, "but the emotion behind it was a 10."

Julia Glynn had four goals and three assists and Kathryn Hallet scored three goals for Manhasset, which rallied from five down to earn its first state title since 2003.

"We wanted this so badly and we never stopped believing," Glynn said. "There was no way we were going home without that trophy."

The Indians took control late in the first half and finished the game on a 9-0 run. Glynn tied it at 7 on a free-position goal with 18:49 remaining. A minute later, she dished to Lindsey Ronbeck for the go-ahead score.

Ronbeck slipped inside off the left wing, cut toward the middle as she received the pass, and fired from close range.

"This is what we've done all year, overcome different challenges," senior Brigid Kenny said, alluding to season-ending injuries that cost Manhasset several of its stars. "We just have this drive to succeed . . . Now we walk away as champions."

A year ago, on the same SUNY Cortland field, the Indians were stunned in a state semifinal, losing 9-8 to Brighton. Through the tears and heartbreak, several returning players vowed to win this season.

A preseason poll ranked them No. 3 in the country, but the Indians dismissed that hype, insisting a state title is all that would satisfy them. "Now we can get excited," said Coleman, named tournament co-MVP with Glynn. "We got what we rightfully deserved."

Ronbeck and Erin Barry each scored twice for Manhasset (19-2). Coleman made six saves, including four during a two-minute span late in the first half that kept Victor (19-3) from extending its 7-2 lead.

"We looked up at the scoreboard and realized we had to snap out of it," Hallet said. "We got momentum when Erin made those saves and we cut the lead. It got us thinking, 'OK, we can do this.' "

Glynn scored two Indians goals in the final 3:20 of the first half and Hallet pulled them within 7-5 a second before halftime. Hallet's goal five minutes into the second half cut the deficit to one.

A big key was Manhasset's stifling second-half defense. Danielle Nicosia, Emily Koufakis and Jackie D'Alleva each forced three turnovers.

With the Indians up 8-7, Nicosia intercepted a pass inside the 8-meter arc with 14:32 left.

Hallet and Barry added late goals for the final cushion.

"I couldn't stop crying," Nicosia said, clutching her gold medal. "We did it. We did it."

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