Kevin Winkoff had 46 points as a sophomore last year, when he started at attack for Cold Spring Harbor’s boys lacrosse team.
A string of injuries this year kept him out of action for about half of the Seahawks’ slate, and he entered Wednesday’s Class C state semifinal at Adelphi with 10 goals and 11 assists primarily as a bench player.
That all made his performance that much sweeter.
Winkoff scored three times — including twice in seven seconds for a two-goal lead in the third quarter — and had an assist to lead Cold Spring Harbor to a 9-6 win over Pleasantville.
The Seahawks (20-0) will face Jamesville-Dewitt Saturday in Rochester, looking for their third straight state championship.
“It’s awesome,” Winkoff said. “Being comfortable back on the field, it’s such a great feeling to be back out here.”
The Seahawks and Panthers (16-4) were tied at 3 when Will Reed took off downfield and fed Winkoff for a goal with 5:25 left in the third. Teddy Bentley won the ensuing face-off, streaked towards the cage and dumped a pass to Winkoff, who scored again at the 5:18 mark.
Cold Spring Harbor led the rest of the game.
“I looked up at the scoreboard, and I was just thinking when am I going to put one in, because this whole season I’ve been hurt,” Winkoff said. “I’ve been trying to get back into the scheme of things, and it just happened. Teddy Bentley came down, threw it to me and it was a spark.”
For a good portion of the game, the Seahawks struggled with a team they had eliminated in the state semifinals in 2015 and 2016.
The Panthers posted a shutout in the first quarter and led 2-0 early in the second. They out-shot the Seahawks 30-25.
“That was by far the toughest game we’ve played against them,” midfielder Matt Licciardi said. “I give them a bunch of credit. They came out. They wanted to win. It was a battle.”
CSH attack Ian Laviano scooped up a rebound and scored with 10:09 left in the first half, and Licciardi and Reed scored 29 seconds apart near the midway point of the second quarter to take a 3-2 lead into halftime.
After Laviano scooped up a loose ball and shot into an empty net for a 6-3 lead, Pleasantville scored twice to cut the gap to 1 with 8:42 left. The Panthers had a man-up opportunity to tie the score but Chris Porzelt made one of his 10 saves, sparking a transition goal by Winkoff with 7:39 left.
Pleasantville never got any closer.
“We were just doing awesome on defense and to get the ball up, it was a good transition goal,” Winkoff said. “It was great to get it off the defense.”