Bay Shore's defense temporarily changed the Suffolk girls lacrosse landscape, but an injury to West Babylon's Alyssa Murray (pictured) may have a more lasting effect.
Shelby Vaccaro's unassisted goal with 13:54 left in the second half gave Bay Shore a 10-7 lead and proved to be the winner in the visiting Marauders' 10-9 Division I victory over previously undefeated West Babylon (the No. 7 team in this week's Big 10).
Murray, Long Island's leader in points (74) and assists (47) who just broke the state career assists mark on Friday, went down with a right knee injury with 12:30 remaining in the first half, according to West Babylon coach Paul Digiulio. She was carted off the field and taken to a knee specialist, but the extent of her injury won't be known until she has an MRI. Digiulio was unaware last night when that would take place.
"I just thought the worst, but you never know," Digiulio said. "She's a big part of our team. Anytime you lose a key part of your team, other people have to do their part to get through it, and we could have done a better job with that."
According to Digiulio, Murray was looking to feed, but noticed she had a 1-on-1. As she darted towards the net from the right side, she lost her footing and fell forward. She immediately went down writhing in pain.
With Murray out of the game, Bay Shore's defense took over. Chelsea Cook had three ground balls inside the arc late in the game to preserve the lead, while Kayla Arnold held West Babylon's leading goal-scorer, Samantha Rush (36), without a goal.
"If you give her an assignment like this, she takes it to heart," Bay Shore co-coach John Pfeffer said of Arnold's effort.
Pfeffer added that he preferred to play tight defense on Rush (the usual beneficiary of Murray's passes) than to double-team Murray. His reason?
"When I reviewed tapes, Alyssa is so quick releasing the ball," he said. "You've got two girls chasing her all over the field and you leave somebody open. By the time you bring another defender over, the ball is gone."
Carly Cox scored two goals with one assist for Bay Shore (5-0). Alyssa Leonard added two goals, and Caroline deLyra had a goal and two assists. Katie Lawlor made 10 saves.
Pfeffer acknowledged the outcome may have been different had Murray not been injured.
"It was a dogfight the whole time," he said. "If she was in the game, would it have been 10-9? I can't say. Without her, I think they did lose something."
Bay Shore's gameplan was to play a deliberate style, and it worked, as the Marauders held a West Babylon team that came into the game averaging 17.14 goals per game and hadn't scored less than 14 all season, to just nine goals. Christina Esposito led the Eagles (5-1) with a game-high five goals.
Said Digiulio: "We needed to adjust a little better than we did. Trying to do it in a game situation didn’t work out for us.”
Here are some video highlights of the game...