The saying "practice makes perfect" is overrated.
With the Long Island Class C girls lacrosse championship game tied and time winding down, Bayport-Blue Point set up a play it put into its offense for the first time during Friday’s practice.
It worked to perfection.
Mairead Kelly passed to a cutting Haydin Eisfeld from behind the cage and Eisfeld slotted home the winning goal with 1:56 left in regulation to lead the Phantoms past Manhasset, 6-5, at Bethpage High School on Saturday afternoon.
"The other attackers and I were in a group chat and were discussing the play," Eisfeld said. "We were deciding whether to put it in our game plan or not. We did, and it went exactly how it was supposed to."
Alexandra Fusco scored the first two goals of the game to give the Phantoms an early lead. Annalisa Massarro scored the first of her two goals with 1:20 left in the first half for Manhasset to narrow the margin to 2-1 before halftime.
Manhasset (13-3) came out on fire in the second half and scored four consecutive goals to take a 5-2 lead. Alexis Morton scored two of them and assisted on the others.
Bayport-Blue Point (17-0) looked as if its undefeated season was in jeopardy. That’s when senior defender Alexis Niblock spoke to her team.
"She took charge of the group for a minute there and reset the temperature, because I think we were running a little hot, and were a little angry at the moment," Bayport-Blue Point coach Ryan Gick said. "We said just wait for the right look and we finally got it."
Gick added: "We have been to this point a couple of times in the past [lost in 2014 and 2019] but just couldn’t find a way to get it done. It didn’t look good here for about three quarters of the game, but we made it clear we were not stopping until the clock hit zero."
Eisfeld brought the Phantoms to within two when she scored with 15:10 left in the game. Katie Clare scored off a free position seven minutes later to make it 5-4 and assisted on Fusco’s third goal to help tie the score at 5 with 7:02 left.
"I went into the game knowing it would be the last time I put on this uniform, the last time I would play for Bayport," said Fusco, who will play lacrosse at Stony Brook next spring. "I had to leave it all out on the field and luckily it worked out in our favor."