Erin O’Grady has been named the championship game MVP in two CHSAA finals. And that’s without having a junior season.
"She’s a freak, she’s an absolute freak," St. Anthony’s girls lacrosse coach Summer Koepplin said. "She doesn’t make any sense. Erin thrives under pressure. She absolutely loves it."
O’Grady’s ability to play her best in the biggest games of the season shined again in her final varsity contest. The senior goalie had 12 saves as St. Anthony’s defeated Sacred Heart, 14-4, in the CHSAA "AA" final at St. Anthony’s High School on Tuesday evening.
"She made some saves [Tuesday] that I could not believe," Koepplin said. "She picked off the ball a couple of times. She’s just incredibly, incredibly athletic and instinctually, she may be one of the best goalies I’ve ever coached."
O’Grady and Victoria Goldrick were the only two players with varsity experience for St. Anthony’s after last year’s season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Koepplin relied on their leadership, especially from O’Grady. And O’Grady was ready when her team needed her most.
"I’m super competitive," said O’Grady, who is committed to play at Michigan. "I love a good, competitive game like that and I know what works for me to get locked into a game like that, so I do all I can do to get locked in like that and have trust in my teammates and in myself."
As has been the story throughout St. Anthony’s 12-0 season, the Friars utilized balanced scoring to run away with the league title. Tanner Scarola had three goals and an assist and Kat McAteer had two goals and two assists as nine Friars scored in the final.
"Our transition was fantastic," Koepplin said. "We had such good fast breaks, really good draw controls and defensively, the whole team played lights out from the ride all the way down to Erin, so that when we had a stop on defense, we could push a fast break as fast as possible."
The Friars were forced to quickly mesh and learn the St. Anthony’s system after a lost season in 2020. But they quickly proved capable of doing just that.
"Going undefeated is just icing on the cake for us," O’Grady said. "We work really, really hard at practice and we know how grateful we were and we weren’t taking anything for granted."
St. Dominic takes CHSAA ‘A’ crown
The Bayhawks utilized a similar balanced scoring philosophy to take home a title. Adrianna Mavlios had three goals and Meg Morrisroe and McKenna Jacobs each had two goals as host top-seeded St. Dominic defeated No. 2 Holy Trinity, 9-8, in the CHSAA "A" final Wednesday evening.
Jacobs delivered St. Dominic’s final goal, off an assist from Delia Tarasco, to give the Bayhawks a 9-7 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. St. Dominic won its first title since 2016, according to athletic director Matthew O’Brien, and Morrisroe led the team with 39 goals in a 7-4 season.
Notable opening round postseason performances
From Suffolk Class A: Summer Agostino scored four goals as No. 6 Ward Melville defeated No. 11 Half Hollow Hills, 18-3. From Nassau Class C: Alex Leggio had four goals and three assists as No. 8 Seaford defeated No. 9 Hewlett, 15-3 ... Emma Kelly had nine goals and Abby Wise had 10 points as No. 5 Plainedge defeated No. 12 Island Trees, 22-9 ... In Nassau B, Meghan Korzenvinski had four goals and three assists as No. 9 New Hyde Park defeated No. 8 Jericho, 16-9. It was New Hyde Park’s first playoff victory in 20 years, according to coach Dominic Gagnon. Mary Kate Person had eight goals for Jericho.