CORTLAND, N.Y. — Championship teams often have complementary players who do the little things that don’t necessarily show up in boxscores. For the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team, Nicole Mormile is that player.
Except in Saturday’s state Class C championship game, she did the big things, too.
The senior midfielder had four goals, two assists and was a force on the draw and on defense, helping lead the Seahawks to their second straight state title with an 11-8 win over John Jay (Cross River) at SUNY-Cortland. Caroline DeBellis added four goals, and Alyssa Moran made nine saves.
“To me, she’s absolutely the most underrated player on our team,” coach Danielle Castellane said. “She’s scrappy, she’s fierce, she’s fearless. She does things in every zone. She’s just the ultimate player, and I think she surprises a lot of people.”
Mormile assisted DeBellis with 16:17 left in the game, putting Cold Spring Harbor (19-2) ahead 8-4. John Jay (18-5) answered a minute later, but Mormile bookended a 3-0 run with quick-slashing goals that gave Cold Spring Harbor a somewhat comfortable 11-5 lead with 8:42 left.
John Jay scored the final three goals of the game, the last of which with 10.9 seconds remaining. Because Moran was nearly impenetrable in the cage in the first half, John Jay couldn’t come back.
“I went into the game knowing that I had to step it up, and I was just seeing the ball incredibly well today,” said Moran, a junior. “That really helped.”
With Sophia Taglich anchoring a stout defense, Moran just had to come up with a few saves to ensure the second state title in program history. Grace Tauckus had two goals and Isabelle Vitale had one goal and three assists, giving the Seahawks some insurance.
“I think last year was that breakthrough that we needed, and we kind of came back into this season and wanted to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, that it wasn’t a one-time thing,” Castellane said.
The game was back and forth early, as Cold Spring Harbor led 6-4 at halftime after each team went on 3-0 runs. With several mandatory two-minute water breaks sprinkled in thanks to the heat, it was difficult for either team to set a pace and run with it.
That didn’t matter to the Seahawks.
“We’ve been in a lot of back-and-forth games this season, so we’re used to going back-and-forth and being mentally tough,” Mormile said. “We love the close games.”
As most gritty players do.