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DiMartino, Tooker lead ESM to 'B' lax title

Eastport-South Manor's Dene' DiMartino reacts during the Suffolk

Eastport-South Manor's Dene' DiMartino reacts during the Suffolk Class B girls lacrosse final at Dowling Sports Complex. (May 31, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Dene' DiMartino and Rebecca Tooker wore matching war paint and faced similarly difficult tasks.

For DiMartino, it was living up to her All-American status and taking control of Eastport-South Manor's offense when it needed it the most.

For Tooker, it was stopping Hauppauge's explosive Taylor Ranftle.

Success would mean upsetting the defending Class B champions and earning the first girls lacrosse county title in school history.

Good thing for the Sharks, these girls were ready. DiMartino scored five while Tooker helped stall the Eagles' offense, as No. 2 Eastport defeated top-seeded Hauppauge, 14-9, Thursday at Dowling. The Sharks, who led by as many as 10 about midway through the second, also got a big contribution from Dakota Mason, who scored five goals.

"That was a team out for blood," Eastport-South Manor coach Rebecca Thorn said of Hauppauge. "[But Dene'] wanted it so bad . . . and Rebecca is a blue-collar, warrior athlete."

Eastport (15-3) never trailed after Allison Gionta spun to evade three defenders and scored with 17:48 left in the first. It was a powder-keg goal for the Sharks, who exploded for eight straight.

Katie Meinecke's goal off a rebound on a free-position save gave the Sharks a 9-2 lead at the break. And, lest Hauppauge have notions of a comeback, Eastport struck again 11 seconds into the second half on Anjelica Fuccillo's breakaway off the opening draw.

"We're a really fast team," Mason said. "One practice, we didn't even bring our sticks. We just ran for the whole time."

Tooker and company held down the fort. The speedy defender held Ranftle to three goals despite the fact that the All-American came into the game with 62 goals and 62 assists. "She still got a few good moves on me . . . but I stepped up my game," Tooker said.

Eastport, which dealt Hauppauge (16-3) its only division loss of the season, will face Garden City in the Long Island Championship on Sunday at Dowling.

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