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Goalie Abbey Ngai settles down defense as CSH advances to final

Cold Spring Harbor goalie Abbey Ngai looks to

Cold Spring Harbor goalie Abbey Ngai looks to pass the ball during 10-4 win over Garden City on Thursday, April 7, 2016, at Cold Spring Harbor High School. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Abbey Ngai isn’t a stranger to quarterbacking the Cold Spring Harbor girls lacrosse team’s defense.

The agile netminder directs traffic in front of the cage, calling out slides for her defenders and yelling out cuts from opposing attack.

So it’s no surprise that when No. 3 North Shore stormed back into Tuesday’s Nassau C semifinal with a game-tying 7-1 run, Ngai took control and called a timeout.

“I had to call that timeout myself,” said Ngai, who made seven saves. “We had to talk it over and see what was happening. Those goals should not have happened. They shouldn’t have gone in and I needed a little more help, and I got it at the end.”

Ngai got help from Katherine Faria, who netted the eventual winning goal with 8:09 left in the second half. Second-seeded Cold Spring Harbor closed the game on a 4-0 run to win, 12-8, at Adelphi’s Motamed Field.

The Seahawks led 7-1 at halftime and 8-3 with 16:56 left in the game. Both Alana Greene and Madeline Podaris netted two of their three goals during a game-tying 5-0 run for North Shore (9-8), prompting Ngai to rally the team together.

CSH’s Kate Kotowski had two goals and four assists and said the message in the timeout was simple.

“We know the kind of team we are,” Kotowski said. “When something happens like that, we know exactly what to do to get our heads back in the game.”

That timeout led to Faria’s goal, and Cold Spring Harbor (9-7) then received tallies from Kotowski, Caroline Debellis (three goals, one assist) and Sophia DeRosa (two goals) to secure a spot in May 31’s county championship against the winner of Wantagh and Lynbrook at Motamed Field.

“We knew we had it,” said Ngai, who made five of her stops in the second half. “We just had to finish with those four goals for a little bit of a cushion not so we could relax, but so we could settle.”

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