CORTLAND, N.Y. - Two weeks ago, following the women’s lacrosse championship game, Courtney McPartland rushed to greet her sister and express how proud she was.
Saturday, after the girls lacrosse state championship, Kelly McPartland returned the favor to her little sister.
Contrasting situations - Courtney’s words were meant to console Kelly, whose Maryland team had just lost in the final, and Kelly’s were congratulatory after Farmingdale won the Class A title. The sentiments were no different.
“I feel a lot of pride watching her play and I’m excited just seeing her accomplish this,” said Kelly, 20, a star midfielder for the Terrapins. "Courtney is probably also the first one of us to ever win a sportsmanship award."
She was joking, a playful reference to the McPartlands' reputation as hard-nosed players. Nevertheless, their family is now tasked with finding room on the mantel for another prize.
Courtney is the youngest of seven, four girls, all of whom played lacrosse and won. Often.
Stacey, 25, was a midfielder for the 2002 Farmingdale team that won the program’s first L.I. title. She went on to play at Delaware and Adelphi, and won an NCAA championship. Jamie, 21, played at Mercy and was part of the Dalers’ run of what’s now eight consecutive Nassau titles. Kelly, an All-American, led Farmingdale to state championships in 2009 and 2010.
And Courtney, too, has two state titles (the senior was a member of the 2010 team). She was key in Farmingdale’s run this year, anchoring the defense in a 10-6 win over Penfield in the state semifinals and, in the final, winning the jump ball late that allowed the Dalers to secure an 8-5 victory over Baldwinsville.
“A lot of people probably thought once Kelly’s group left, with those superstars, we’d never get far,” said Courtney, 18, headed to Central Connecticut State. “This is proof that we could.”
Likewise for attack Johnna Leone, the freshman sister of former All-American Jamie, and Shannon Gaghan, the younger sister Kaitlin, both of whom starred with Kelly McPartland.
Tommy McPartland, a freshman, is on the boys lacrosse team, but Courtney is the last McPartland girl to wear the Daler uniform.
"It's been awesome playing with them," teammate Nadine Hadnagy said. She will join Kelly at Maryland in the fall. "Me and Courtney are best friends and, on the field, I know if I get beat, she's going to be right behind. Playing with Kelly was fun because if I was tired or didn't want to run, I'd just chuck her the ball and she'd take off."
Each McPartland followed in the footsteps of the sister before her, picking up lacrosse in fourth grade and excelling -- with different styles, but similar personalities.
“They’re all stubborn, but that’s what makes the McPartlands great,” said Farmingdale coach Shari Campbell. “They’re the toughest kids; you knock them down and they'll come right back even harder. And they’ve all found a way to win. . . They’ve left quite a legacy here.”