CORTLAND, N.Y. — Overheard in the scrum of the postgame celebration, one which the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team had so anxiously waited for, was a small voice exclaiming, ‘My cheeks hurt!”
Even in the 10 minutes after Cold Spring Harbor’s defeat of Honeoye Falls-Lima, 18-3, in the state Class C championship game at SUNY-Cortland Saturday, the Seahawks had already smiled so much that it hurt.
The Seahawks, state champions for the first time in program history, lit up the scoreboard with seven straight goals in the first half and all five goals scored in the second half, cruising to an easy win.
“It’s surreal,” said Grace Tauckus, a junior named the game’s MVP after leading CSH to a 16-6 advantage on draws. “We’ve been working for it not just this whole season. This is a new experience for all of us. We’d heard about it but never got to experience it ourselves. It’s unreal.”
Emily Weld (four goals) and Caroline DeBellis (four goals, one assist) each scored twice in the first six minutes, giving the Seahawks an early 4-0 lead. Five scorers contributed during the 7-0 run, giving Cold Spring Harbor a 12-2 lead — and running clock — in the first half. Katherine Faria (three goals) later made it 14-3.
There was no looking back from there.
“I’m just so proud of every single person on my team right now,” said Sophia DeRosa, who had one goal and four assists and is one of the team’s four seniors. “I didn’t have a doubt once we came out, even in the first scrimmage of our season, that this was going to be a team that could go all the way.”
Not everyone believed DeRosa’s vision. Count coach Danielle Castellane as one of the early nonbelievers, even if she was always hopeful.
“Sophia DeRosa told me that she thought this could happen, and I wasn’t a believer at first, unfortunately,” said Castellane, who has been a coach at CSH for 12 years. “And the 24 of them made the five of us on the sidelines totally believe in them. From the minute the season started, every day I leave here excited to come back with these girls.”
Castellane had dodged the postgame water cooler bath during the county and Long Island championships, but she couldn’t escape this time. Because the water cooler was off limits, the Seahawks took water bottles and doused Castellane until she finally said, ‘‘OK, you got me!”
The Seahawks’ balance turned Castellane a believer and turned Honeoye Falls-Lima into nothing more than a short hurdle in their path to program history.
With alumni in the stands from the 2014 team, the only other Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team to make the state tournament, the Seahawks finished the job.
“I think we realized that this is something that our program has wanted for a long time,’ DeRosa said. “We had a lot of alumni texting us from the 2014 team, and we just realized how much everyone wanted it for us.”
There’s no longer a trace of doubt in anyone’s mind. They’re all believers.