The Manhasset field hockey program had gone nearly a decade since last experiencing the sweet thrill of hoisting a county championship plaque.
On Wednesday, Lily Klimuszko had the last say in finally changing that.
Klimuszko slipped past the defense on a break with 8:13 remaining and knocked in the go-ahead goal, which proved to be the difference-maker as Manhasset earned its first county title since 2012 with a 2-1 victory over Locust Valley in the Nassau Class B final at Berner Middle School in Massapequa.
After saying that her goal felt like a blur, the sophomore forward focused on the long-elusive championship banner display that will come about as a result.
"I’m so happy to have our number up on the wall," Klimuszko said. "I’ll show everyone that number and say ‘That’s when we won the championship.’ And then maybe it’ll be another 10 years and they’ll look back at us and want to be like us."
Emma Mandato opened the scoring for Locust Valley (11-5) on an assist from Elizabeth Gresalfi with 5:34 left in the first quarter.
Julia Cafaso found Olivia Robson for Manhasset’s first goal with 8:13 remaining in the half as the two sides entered the intermission tied. They had split their two regular season matches.
"I’m so proud that we were able to keep our energy high and pull this one through," Robson said. "We knew this was going to be a tough one with it being the tiebreaker [after the season split]."
Manhasset (12-4) will return to Berner on Saturday to take on Miller Place in the Long Island Class B championship at 10 a.m.
"I think we should just keep this adrenaline going," Klimuszko said. "We don’t really know how they play but we need to keep this energy."
Manhasset coach Steve Sproul continued to encourage his team as they prepared for the fourth quarter after failing to capitalize on a penalty stroke opportunity with 22 seconds left in the third.
"I just told them that was water under the bridge," Sproul said. "You just have to go play for that win."
Fifteen minutes later, Manhasset, which fell to 1-0 to Garden City in last season’s Class B final, found itself celebrating its first county title in nine years.
"After losing on this field last season," Sproul said, "this is a really good feeling to win on it this year."
Garden City wins
In the Class A final, No. 1 Garden City earned a heart-pounding 4-3 victory over No. 2 Massapequa in double-overtime thanks to Julia Sharp’s winning goal. The Trojans remained undefeated at 16-0 and won their eighth consecutive county title, including their first in Class A since 2005.
"This is so important to us, to just keep going until the very end," Sharp said. "Not going to states this year really made us more determined to win counties and go back to the Long Island championship."