When Kaitlyn McGovern found the ball on her stick with time winding down in the Long Island Class C championship Saturday afternoon, she didn’t hesitate.
"I knew I had to score. I was so close to the goal and it was late in the game," McGovern said. "When it went in, I was shocked. It was such a crazy moment."
The freshman fired a backhanded shot from a couple feet left of goal and scored the winner with 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in regulation for Carle Place in a 2-1 victory over Pierson to capture the title at Berner Middle School in Massapequa.
Pierson (8-7) struck first in the first quarter when Madison Stuckart scored with 5:59 remaining for a 1-0 lead.
With 10:51 left before halftime, the Frogs were awarded a penalty shot after a scramble in front. Alexandra Nagy stepped up to take the shot, but it went wide of goal. Just over a minute later Nagy got some revenge when she scored the tying goal off an assist by Marisa Terrone following a penalty corner.
"After I missed, I was a little down on myself. It stunk and was a little embarrassing, but we got that corner right away," Nagy said. "My friend Ava Lopes told me ‘don’t worry about the miss you got this one.’ I called out the corner and I went in and scored."
Justina Cavallaro (11 saves) was a brick wall in goal for the Frogs (9-7). Her biggest saves came late in the game when Pierson had a 3-on-1 fast break and a 3-on-0 opportunity. She also made two saves in the final minute of the first half, including one on a penalty corner with no time left on the clock to keep the score tied at 1.
"When those three girls were bearing down on her, it’s obviously scary for all of us, but I know in the back of my head that Justina is such a strong goalie and she will be there to make the save," Nagy said.
"She [Justina] is our whole team and she’s always there to save the day for us," McGovern added. "Without her I don’t know what we would do."