When Jessica Geiersbach didn't know what to say after her hat trick in Wednesday night's 14-10 girls lacrosse win over host Sachem East, her West Babylon teammates offered a helping hand.
"I was really aggressive," she said of her performance, though still searching for the words.
"Looking for open teammates," midfielder Samantha Apuzzo whispered to her.
"Taking players one-on-one," attack Christina Esposito added.
In case you missed it, the key to West Babylon's win over the Division I rival that ended its playoff chances last year is teamwork. The mantra is evident as much on the field as off, as the same three girls who answer each other's questions are the ones that finish each other's shots. And why not? That formula has taken them from a 0-3 team to a 12-3 team. Their 12-1 division record is second to unbeaten Ward Melville.
"We lost this game with seven seconds left last year, and that pretty much clinched it for us; no playoffs," coach Colleen Kilgus said. "I'm really proud of them."
Apuzzo's goal on a feed from Esposito with 11:49 left broke a tie at 2 as the Eagles scored five in a row -- highlighted by a stretch with about four minutes left when Apuzzo intercepted a pass by goalie Kyle Larkin. The freshman swung around the net and hit Geiersbach, who scored with 3:50 left to make it 6-2. Samantha Geiersbach's unassisted goal with four seconds left gave West Babylon a five-goal lead at the break.
The Eagles never trailed after that. Two goals by Katie Trombetta drew Sachem East to within 11-6, but Samantha Geiersbach and Esposito (four goals, two assists) helped West Babylon retain the comfortable lead.
Trombetta led Sachem East (9-4) with four goals and two assists.
"Really this whole season shows that this team has a lot of heart," Esposito said. "We lost to all good teams and it was by a little bit, not a lot . . . and everyone matured during this season."
That includes Apuzzo (two goals, two assists), who has joined Esposito as the team's main scoring threat. "Espo is always looking for me [on the field]," Apuzzo said. "Everything is coming into place."