When North Shore upset Manhasset on Wednesday in the Class B semifinals, the players jogged off the field and said this to coach Kellie Moritz: "Sorry we took 1:34." Jennie Berglin took Carly Comitino's pass from the top of the circle and scored 1:34 into overtime, downing the second-seeded Indians, 2-1, and advancing to the county final for the first time since 2006.
"They love overtime," Moritz said. "They just love to stress me out."
There might be something to that. Three of North Shore's last four games have gone to overtime.
And the Vikings definitely have a swagger. They went into the Manhasset game "psyched and excited," the coach said. And their confidence was buoyed after having played Manhasset tough in their previous meeting, a 2-1 overtime loss in October. The positive there: Lindsay Ahrens had scored with 21 seconds left in regulation to force OT.
"We've shown so much growth since the start of the season," Moritz said. "We're playing North Shore field hockey right now."
North Shore field hockey means aggressive offense, good defense and steady play at goalkeeper. Lauren Gerard has a save percentage of 89.5 and the third-seeded Vikings (10-5-1) haven't allowed more than two goals in a game, and that happened only twice.
"She's just very consistent and reliable," Moritz said of Gerard. "She's a quiet girl, but she has a calming influence on everyone else... [sweeper] Laura Wefer is pretty much the same. She directs in the circle and sets everyone up. Lauren Janelli and Danielle Valasiadis are the risk-takers."
They're also working Isabella Ahrens back into the mix. The center-midfielder is back after having missed a month with a broken knuckle. "We had it going, then she got hurt and we had to regroup," Mortiz said. "Now that she's back, we have to regroup again."
And today, they'll have a shot at their first Class B county title since 2005. To capture it, they'll have to beat Garden City. I could expound on Garden City and extol their dominance, but you already know. So, the Vikings have a tall order today at 2 p.m. But here's where that North Shore swag comes in:
"Very confident and prepared," the coach said. "They're excited and looking forward to it. Last time we played Garden City it was a close game [a 2-0 loss]. Any time you play them you know you're facing a strong-skilled team. We have good skill and we feel we're ready to go."