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West Babylon girls lacrosse wins first title in program history with Suffolk Class B championship

West Babylon teammates celebrate after their overtime victory

West Babylon teammates celebrate after their overtime victory over host Eastport-South Manor High School in the Suffolk County Class A girls lacrosse final on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Credit: James Escher

Olivia Vergano was not the go-to person in overtime for the second-seeded West Babylon girls lacrosse team on Wednesday, but in the end, she was the one celebrating.

Vergano helped win the draw control to open the sudden victory three-minute overtime period in the Suffolk Class B final and gained possession for the Eagles. West Babylon set up its offense and Vergano took care of the rest.

She dodged right past her defender and buried a shot into the top right corner of the goal with 1 minute, 57 seconds remaining to propel West Babylon to a 9-8 win over top-seeded host Eastport-South Manor. It was the first title in program history, according to coach Colleen Kilgus.

"It just kind of happened that way. We were actually looking for Lacey [Downey] on that one," Vergano said. "One of the defenders pushed her out, I happened to be open and got it past the goalkeeper."

Vergano’s winning goal was her second of the half. She also tallied an assist in the first half and finished with three points.

Lacey Downey came into the game as Long Island’s leading goal-scorer with 64, and tallied four second-half goals to bring her total to 68. Her fourth came with about five minutes left in regulation with West Babylon a man up to tie the score at 8.

Downey also recorded her 49th assist in the first half when she found her sister Ellie for one of her two first-half goals. The sophomore leads Long Island with 117 points.

"We lost to them [Eastport-South Manor] during my seventh-grade year in overtime 8-7, and then two years ago when I was in eighth grade, we lost 8-7," Lacey said. "I hit the post with three seconds left in that one and I felt that I let my team down. It was time for my redemption and in overtime I was thinking, I’m not losing to this team for the third time."

Celeste Forte scored four goals in the first half for the defending Class B state champions, including one with 14.9 seconds left to give the Sharks a 4-3 lead at halftime. Forte did not score the remainder of the contest, as the Eagles (13-4) made some adjustments.

"We made sure we denied her the ball wherever she was on the field. She had a great game, was playing tremendous, and showed great speed," Kilgus said. "She’s a wonderful player, but we had to make sure the ball wasn’t on her stick because she was running the offense. We face guarded her and were able to shut her down."

A crucial moment came with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. Lacey was shown a yellow card and was sent off after committing a hard foul. The Sharks (13-3) gained a two-minute advantage, but turned the ball over just a few moments later and the Eagles took over on offense.

"I was ecstatic on the sideline jumping up and down. That was their chance to win it," Lacey said. "We made history tonight. So many great players have come through this program and to be on the first team to have won a county title is unreal. And to win it along with my older sister is just amazing."

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