TODAY'S PAPER

Total team effort propelled Cold Spring Harbor to first girls lacrosse state title

Cold Spring Harbor players celebrate their state Class C girls lacrosse title in Cortland on June 9, 2018.

Some teams preach that it’s all about the seniors. Not the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team. From the beginning, it was about each of the 24 girls on the roster, regardless of their class.

“The seniors understood that you’re only as strong as the people on the sidelines,” coach Danielle Castellane said. “They were always making comments about how important the sideline was.

“That...

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Some teams preach that it’s all about the seniors. Not the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team. From the beginning, it was about each of the 24 girls on the roster, regardless of their class.

“The seniors understood that you’re only as strong as the people on the sidelines,” coach Danielle Castellane said. “They were always making comments about how important the sideline was.

“That was them this year. It was just loose. It was about all 24 girls. They really made it a cohesive unit. I had to step back and allow those things to happen because it was better for the group.”

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The camaraderie led to a historic season, as Cold Spring Harbor beat Honeoye Falls-Lima, 18-3, in the state Class C championship game, winning the first state title in program history.

The senior class was small but impactful, as Sophia DeRosa, Caroline Atkinson, Katherine Faria and Emily Weld made key contributions during the season. Still, it was never about just them.

With a smaller senior class, the Seahawks had to lean on the contributions of juniors Caroline DeBellis, Grace Tauckus, Sophia Taglich, Nicole Mormile and others.

If there was a defining moment in the team’s season, it came the night before the state championship game. Sitting together in a hotel in Cortland, the Seahawks were prepared to talk game plan. Instead, it evolved into an exchange of respect between the underclassmen and the seniors getting ready to play their final game in a Cold Spring Harbor uniform.

“It was crazy to hear how much they appreciated us,” said Faria, who will play Division III women’s lacrosse at Washington and Lee. “A bunch of them did mention how we put emphasis on how we wanted to do everything as a team, instead of just for the seniors. Just how we would never yell at them, and our constructive criticism was always done in a nice way. As much as the younger girls respected us, we showed that same respect to them.”

Cold Spring Harbor, riding contributions from a diverse offense with seven legitimate scoring threats, coasted through the upstate competition, outscoring its final four opponents by a combined 34-11 in two games.

The Seahawks’ toughest test came in the Long Island Class C championship game against Mount Sinai, the winner of four of the previous five state titles. Cold Spring Harbor took a big lead before Mount Sinai tied the score, and Tauckus sent the Seahawks home happy with an overtime winner.

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After her team won that game, Faria said the Seahawks never looked back.

“After we won the Long Island championship, I knew we had it in the bag,” she said. “I think just putting together a game like that, nothing was stopping us after that. Just having that feeling after beating Mount Sinai, none of us wanted to end our season early.”

Tauckus is one of a handful of juniors stepping into leadership roles next season, and Faria is confident they’ll run the team in the same way that the Class of 2018 did. After all, it worked wonders.

“I have complete confidence that they are going to run the team amazingly next year,” Faria said. “I think we’ve taught them good messages and they’re going to take it, and I think they can go all the way again next year, too.”