Lena Riportella's five goals lift West Islip (20-0) girls lacrosse to first Long Island Class A title

West Islip's Lena Riportella (2) celebrates a score West Islip's Lena Riportella (2) celebrates a score in the second half against Farmingdale in teh Long Island Class A championship game on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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West Islip waited its turn. The Lions slowly built their girls lacrosse program, toiling through the 1990s, and eventually became a quality team. Good, but never good enough. They watched longingly as other programs built dynasties -- including their own boys lacrosse team.

"We didn't want much," Lions coach Joe Nicolosi said, "just a piece of the pudding."

How about a berth-day cake?

Because West Islip, in its amazing season of firsts, earned a trip to the state tournament Sunday night. Lena Riportella scored five goals as the Lions beat Farmingdale, 12-8, at Dowling to capture their first Long Island Class A championship.

"We couldn't lose," Riportella said. "We're making history and we're not finished."

West Islip (20-0) captured its first Suffolk title Friday, then rebounded from a slow start Sunday night to upend Farmingdale, the defending state champion.

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Riley Hill's free-position goal tied it at 5 for the Lions with three minutes left in the first half, and Vanessa Costantino put them ahead for good 35 seconds into the second half.

West Islip scored twice during a player-up advantage midway through the second half.

Grace Davidson's goal, off a feed from Lindsay Darrell, put them up 9-7 with 14:24 left. Riportella added three goals in the final 13:34 to help the Lions take control.

"This is unreal," Davidson said. "To be part of the first team to do something like this is so special. We'll forever be remembered as the first."

Darrell had two goals and two assists, Costantino had two assists and Shannon McFadden made seven saves for West Islip, which faces Suffern in the state semifinals Friday at 2:30 p.m. at SUNY Cortland.

Bridget Weill scored three goals, Jill Alonso had two and Olivia Kirk made 10 saves for the Dalers (10-7).

"We took turns locking in on her," defender Courtney Salatto said of Weill, who had eight goals in the Nassau final. "No one person is as good as our whole defensive line."

And as it stands, no team has been good enough to beat WI.

When the postgame interviews were through, after the fans had cleared the stands and the rollicking atmosphere settled, the Lions huddled. And out came the chorus to a Jay-Z hit.

"Only thing that's on my mind," they sang, "is we're gonna run this town tonight!"

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They do now. And the proof is in that pudding.

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