Cold Spring Harbor players and coaches pose for photos after...

Cold Spring Harbor players and coaches pose for photos after their win in the Class D final at the NYSPHSAA Girls Lacrosse Championships in Cortland, N.Y., Saturday, June 8, 2024. Cold Spring Harbor claimed the Class D title with a 12-5 win over South Jefferson-III. Credit: Adrian Kraus

Amelia Bentley knew this was her final chance. 

The sting of losing in the state semifinal game the previous two seasons was a driving force for the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team. 

“The last two years falling short was really hard and I always felt so upset for the seniors because I knew it was their last time playing,” said Bentley, a Drexel commit who earned All-County and All-American honors after a 41-goal, 38-assist season. “This year being my senior year, I knew it had to be different.”

It was.

After a one-goal lead at the half, Cold Spring Harbor broke the game open with a six-goal third quarter and cruised to a 12-5 win over South Jefferson to earn the state Class D title, the program's first crown since it won the Class C championship in 2019. 

“I don't think we were ever really nervous,” said junior goalkeeper Maya Soskin, who made six saves in the final to give her 157 for the season and All-County and All-American honors. “Obviously the state final is a nerve-wracking game, but I think from the defensive perspective, whenever I looked out in front of me, I knew my defense was locked in.”

The whole team was thanks to its goal of wanting to earn that elusive state title. Cold Spring Harbor coach Danielle Castellane said the hunger was palpable, and she knew it was this group’s time.

“Falling short the last few years definitely left a little chip on their shoulders,” Castellane said. “They took everything one game at a time. We made sure that we were getting better throughout the season. We made sure we got exposed to playing some tough competition. We fixed holes. We made changes. Come June, we had our best foot forward and we were prepared to play anybody.”

With four experienced seniors and a sizable junior class of 13 athletes, the Seahawks had valuable contributors across the board. Ryan Reynolds led the way with three goals and three assists in the state final. Maggie Spehr, Jenna Kessler, Ruby Spielberger and Olivia Mulada (two assists) each added two goals. Kelly Callaghan had a goal and an assist. 

“It wasn't about one player every day,” Castellane said. “It was somebody different every single game. Every single practice there was someone that impressed, there was someone that stood out, there was someone that took the reins. We never had to rely on one person.”

Said Bentley, "I was face-guarded the entire championship game, but I didn’t even care because I felt so proud watching my teammates do amazing things. Everyone is so good that it doesn’t even matter when you take one of us out, someone will step up.”

The Seahawks (17-4) have no intention of looking back. Repeating as state champs is the new goal. Soskin, a Florida commit, said she wants to make her upcoming senior year one to remember.

“I've been waiting for my senior season ever since I first started,” she said. “Next year is going to be huge for all of us. We have so many goals that we're going to keep working toward, even just having just so much fun with all of our friends. I think doing it one last time is going to be a dream with the girls I'm surrounded with.”

With Jolie Katzen

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