Massapequa High School goalkeeper #23 Christina Fiorinelli keeps her eyes...

Massapequa High School goalkeeper #23 Christina Fiorinelli keeps her eyes on the action in the first half of a Nassau County non-league varsity girls lacrosse game vs. Cold Spring Harbor. (April 14, 2011) Credit: James Escher

She stopped so many shots that several teammates got hoarse from shouting at their workhorse goalie, "Nice save, Christina!" "Way to go, Tina!"

As the only returning member of Massapequa's defense, Christina Fiorinelli is critical to the team's championship hopes. Thursday, the Chiefs rode her 18 saves to a surprisingly easy 15-4 non-league victory over Cold Spring Harbor at Field of Dreams in Massapequa. Both teams are 6-2.

"I did feel busy, but I don't keep count of the shots," said the 5-1 senior who stopped several one-on-one shots when the game was still close in the first half. "I step out on the shooter and try to make myself as big as I can."

Then she stopped and chuckled, realizing what she was saying. "I know I'm not very big," Fiorinelli said. "But I try to jump out and scare the shooter and mess with their shot."

After Cold Spring Harbor took a 3-2 lead with 17:43 left in the half, Fiorinelli covered the cage and the Chiefs' offense took off.

"I hope every single shot I save brings momentum from defense to offense," she said.

That appeared to be the case when Massapequa scored eight straight goals to lead 10-3 at the half. Danielle Doherty led the barrage with four of her five goals, plus two assists. The Chiefs made it an 11-0 run with the first three goals of the second half, as Madalyn Pimental scored two of her three. She also had two assists.

Both players wanted to talk more about their passes than their shots.

"We started the game taking isos," Doherty said of one-on-one moves or isolations. "Coach [Megan Zimmer] is always telling us in practice that catch shots are much better than isos. Those eight straight goals mostly had assists. It's a great feeling."

They were practicing what their coach preached. "Assists. That's all we talk about in practice," Zimmer said. "We very rarely even take isos. We focus on moving the ball in practice. Ideally, we'd like all seven to touch the ball on every possession."

Sometimes, just two is OK. One of Massapequa's slickest goals was a hookup between Madalyn Pimental and her sister Rosemary that made it 8-3.

"I came down the center and she took the defender away and back-doored her," Madalyn said. "We know each other so well that we know when the other is going to cut. We had a little telepathy going."