Faced with a three-goal deficit with 8:58 remaining against a team that had not lost in nearly two years, Dowling College faced one stiff challenge in the East Coast Conference women's lacrosse final Saturday.
But attacker Jackie Anderson had the answer. "We just stayed cool, calm, collected," she said.
Anderson made those words stick -- thanks to her stick. She set up the Golden Lions' final four goals, including three by Samantha Stavish in the last 7:51, to lift Dowling to an 11-10 victory over host LIU Post.
Stavish snapped a 10-all tie with 1:24 remaining in the first ECC women's championship game.
The result also ended Post's 40-game winning streak, dating to a 10-9 loss to Dowling on May 5, 2012.
"We have seven starting seniors; this could be their last game," Dowling coach Kerri McCabe said. "They put everything out there along with the rest of the team."
Post (17-1) is expected to be selected to the Division II tournament. Since there is no automatic ECC berth, Dowling (14-5) isn't as certain.
"Our season wasn't the best," Stavish said, "but we're keeping our heads up, hoping for the best."
If this was the last game for Stavish, she did it in style. The former Mineola High School standout connected for five goals, all assisted by Anderson (seven assists), and she was selected as the most outstanding player of the game.
After Samantha Locso (three goals) had given Post a 10-7 lead, Stavish and Anderson went into action. They combined for goals at 22:09 and 23:07 before Anderson assisted on Allie Merrill's equalizer at 24:31. Then the game-winner.
"She can see the field," Stavish said. "Even if a girl is on me, she always hits it. I was just on today."
So was freshman defender Trish Serras, who was given the difficult task of covering Jackie Sileo, the all-time women's scoring leader across all divisions. She limited Sileo to a pair of goals and one assist.
"I've been practicing all week long, face-guarding our best player, Jackie Anderson," Serras said. "Jackie's fast feed is almost the same as Jackie Sileo's. I got used to the movement. I just knew what to do."