Cold Spring Harbor's Ruby Spielberger, left, is defended by Penn...

Cold Spring Harbor's Ruby Spielberger, left, is defended by Penn Yan's Lila Hansen during a Class D semifinal at the NYSPHSAA Girls Lacrosse Championships in Cortland, N.Y., Friday, June 7, 2024. Cold Spring Harbor advanced to the championship game with an 18-4 win against Penn Yan-V. Credit: Adrian Kraus

CORTLAND — The Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team has been dreaming about this moment all season. After falling in the state semifinals the last two years, the team made it their mission to take care of “unfinished business,” their team motto.

Cold Spring Harbor defeated Section V’s Penn Yan Academy, 18-4, in a state Class D semifinal on Friday afternoon at SUNY Cortland, bringing the Seahawks to their first state championship appearance since 2019.

“It feels so great,” Cold Spring Harbor coach Danielle Castellane said. “No one on this team has made it to Day 2 of the state championships, so it was a big goal for them to take care of Day 1 and get that second sleep.”

Cold Spring Harbor (16-4) will face Section III’s South Jefferson at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

It was clear from the start that Cold Spring Harbor came to win.

Back-to-back goals from Ruby Spielberger put the Seahawks on the board, and by the end of the first quarter, they led 7-0. In the final five minutes of the quarter, they fired off one goal per minute.

Cold Spring Harbor led 13-2 at halftime.

“Taking the lead early was huge,” Spielberger said. “It definitely brought our momentum up and got it in our head that we can really win this.”

That momentum was interrupted, however, with just over a minute to go in the third quarter and Cold Spring Harbor leading 15-3.

Thunder and lightning caused the rest of the game to be temporarily halted.

“We were expecting some bad weather,” Castellane said. “We talked about the things we couldn’t control today and how we weren’t going to let that bother us.”

After about an hour of delay, the Seahawks picked up where they left off.

Jenna Kessler found the back of the net to close out the third, and they added two more goals in the fourth to secure the 18-4 win.

Following the theme of the season, each game is a full-team effort. Seven players scored for the Seahawks.

Spielberger, Kessler, Olivia Mulada, Maggie Spehr and Ryan Reynolds all finished with three goals.

Bailey Cooper led Penn Yan (17-4) with three goals.

“It’s never one person,” Castellane said. “Every day it’s somebody new who steps up, which is something that I think is really important to our chemistry.”

In addition to her career-high three goals, Mulada, a freshman, had five assists to lead Cold Spring Harbor in points.

“Today was exciting,” Mulada said. “These are all my best friends, so being a part of this win was special.”

Another win would be the most special of all.

“They’re absolutely locked in,” Castellane said. “They’re ready for tomorrow.”


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