Even from the far side of the field on a rainy, windy day, you could hear Sarah Reznick's shouts of direction and encouragement to her defense.
Reznick, a freshman with the poise of a senior, made seven saves and allowed only four goals in host Long Beach's 16-6 win over Seaford in Conference II lacrosse Thursday. Her influence on the game was more drastic than anything recorded in the scorebook.
"She's the quarterback for the defense. She's really come into her own as a vocal leader,'' coach Rachel Ray said. "You'd have no idea she was a freshman by watching her play.''
"She can be really loud, and that helps us a lot on defense,'' defender Emma Cohen said.
The six goals for Seaford (4-3), which entered averaging nearly 12, were a season low. Backup goalies Jaclyn Marry and Caitlin Rivera each allowed one.
"The defense made some great stops in the beginning of the game. They were a huge part of the win,'' said Reznick, a third-year varsity starter who has a verbal commitment to attend the University of Florida. "It's my third year, so it's helped working with the same group of girls. Having them, I've definitely gotten more comfortable and continued to improve each year.''
Long Beach built a 3-0 lead in the first 7:37 thanks to goals by Rebecca Idson (three goals), Catie Breglia (two goals, four assists) and Katie Whelan (three goals, one assist). Another late offensive surge gave the Marines (6-0) a 10-2 halftime lead.
"We moved the ball really well,'' said Siobhan Rafferty, who had three goals and two assists. "And that created some open passes, open looks, and we executed.''
A goal by Allison Palermo brought Seaford to within 12-4 with 13 minutes remaining. With 11:30 to go, the Vikings' Kaitlyn Meyer earned a free position, but Reznick came up with a point-blank save. Ninety seconds later, Alyssa Mallery tried to shoot it between Reznick's legs on a free position, but the goalie delivered another stop.
"She's unstoppable back there,'' Cohen said. "We had a lot of communication, and that starts with Sarah. Our defensive zones were working well as a result.''
From there, the defense did its part to preserve the lead and keep Long Beach undefeated in the conference.
"The girls are hungry. They want to prove they're ready for the playoffs,'' Ray said. "They're just excited about the run they're on now. But we know it's uphill from here.''