Rarely are the results positive when impulse supercedes wisdom.
Danielle Harrington: It probably goes against better judgment to stop a rubber ball, traveling at high speed, using the top of your foot with only a sneaker tongue as padding.
Sara Stephens: It's in defiance of lacrosse logic to shoot sidearm, across your body, while drifting away from the goal in the waning minutes of a close game.
Word to the wise: Sometimes instincts are brilliant.
Stephens scored three goals, including the winner, and Harrington made clutch saves as Plainedge edged Long Beach, 8-7, Monday in a Conference I girls lacrosse game.
"I knew it was a risky shot and it's not something I normally do," Stephens said of her goal, which put the Red Devils up 8-6 with 4:24 left. The freshman was double teamed and forced left, but fired an off-balance liner from about 8 yards that found the net.
"I would've felt bad if I missed," she said, "but I thought my team needed a goal."
Harrington had three of her nine stops in the final seven minutes, including a kick save with 2:41 left. The goalie was drawn to her left on a crease roll and the shot went toward the far corner, but she deflected it with her right foot.
"I don't do that often; it just kind of happened," Harrington said, adding that her foot felt OK after the game. She also stopped a bouncer -- using her stick -- with 1:22 remaining.
Hannah Sofield scored with 1:01 left to pull the Marines within 1, but Stephens came up with the ensuing draw.
Rebecca Luca scored twice and Katie Flannery had two assists for the Red Devils (6-5), who lost to Long Beach in the Nassau Class B playoffs last year.
The Marines led 2-0, but Allyson Baner tied it and Stephens scored twice to give Plainedge a 4-2 lead 14:09 before the half.
Jillian Piazza had two goals and Sarah Resznick made 10 saves for Long Beach (4-7).
"They're fast, so we slowed things down and limited their transition and doubled in the crease," Alexa Watson said of Plainedge's defensive strategy.
The Marines had opportunities late, including a man-up possession, but wherever it seemed there was an opening, the Plainedge defense swarmed . . . and the goalie showed she can really kick it.
"I'm always a little nervous in big spots," Harrington said, "but I just try to let my instincts take over."