Cold Spring Harbor celebrates with the championship plaque after their...

Cold Spring Harbor celebrates with the championship plaque 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. Credit: Adrian Kraus

CORTLAND — It’s a feeling the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team has been waiting for, and now, they never want to let go of it.

They defeated South Jefferson, 12-5, in the state Class D championship on Saturday afternoon at SUNY Cortland. "State champs" is a title they’ve been chasing since they won the Class C championship in 2019.

“This feels like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” junior Ryan Reynolds said. “I can’t describe it, but now that we know this feeling, giving it up next year won’t be an option.”

Falling in the state semifinal games the last two seasons, the Seahawks felt like they had "unfinished business." It was their team motto all season. 

“It’s finished now, that’s for sure,” coach Danielle Castellane said. “These girls were on a mission. We were led by a seasoned group, and they did exactly what they needed to do to take care of business.”

Maggie Spehr's goal with 40 seconds left in the first half broke a 2-2 tie, and from there it was all Cold Spring Harbor. The Seahawks scored six third-quarter goals and led 9-3 entering the fourth.

“They came out on fire in the third,” Castellane said. “Once they get going, it’s definitely hard to stop them.”

Like every game this season, there wasn’t one standout player but an equal effort for Cold Spring Harbor (17-4). Reynolds finished with three goals and three assists. Spehr, Jenna Kessler, Ruby Spielberger and Olivia Mulada each added two goals. Mulada also had two assists and Kelly Callaghan had one goal and one assist. Lily Morrison scored two goals for Section III's South Jefferson (19-3).

“I’m so lucky that we don’t have to rely on one or two players,” Castellane said. “They all trust one another to do their job, and we trust them.”

As a team that has grown up together, and has built friendships both on and off the field, it was clear from the start of the season that this was the team that could bring home the crown.

“I honestly think the fact that everybody on this team is so close and has such a great relationship is what helped get us to this point,” said Kessler, a senior. “We all had the same goal of getting to the state championships since Day 1, and we’ve worked together to get here.”

Kessler walked off the field with a medal, a moment she's been thinking about for years.

“Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve been dreaming of becoming a state champion,” Kessler said. “And for us to finally get it during my last year and my last chance, it feels so great to go off with a bang.”

Although Castellane hopes for a repeat next season, for now, she’s focused on celebrating the hard-earned win.

“We’re ready to enjoy this one for a little,” Castellane said. “Because it's definitely sweet.”


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