Sayville midfield Sophia Buffardi moves the ball upfield as West Islip...

Sayville midfield Sophia Buffardi moves the ball upfield as West Islip midfield Ava Obloj stays close in a Suffolk girls lacrosse game, Thursday, April 18, 2024 at Sayville. Credit: George A Faella

The Sayville girls lacrosse team found itself in familiar territory on its home turf Thursday.

Following a back-and-forth rally against West Islip in the first half and a scoreless third period, the Golden Flashes clutched a one-goal lead entering the final quarter.

West Islip appeared to have the momentum, as Ava Obloj fed Mia Nicolosi from behind the net to tie the score at four with eight minutes remaining.

But amid the intensity that is Suffolk II girls lacrosse, Sayville continues to rise above the challenge.

Freshman Dylan McNamara lofted a pass from the right corner to sophomore Sophia Buffardi who fired a shot into the net with less than eight seconds left to lift undefeated Sayville past West Islip, 5-4.

Sayville (10-0, 8-0) entered the matchup following a 9-8 overtime win over Mount Sinai on Tuesday.

“I feel calm in these situations because I just think of it as another time that the ball needs to go into the net,” said Buffardi, who also scored the winning goal in a 5-4 victory over Eastport-South Manor. “I wanted to do it for my team because they’re always there for me when I need them.”

The Golden Flashes also battled back from a close game against Bayport-Blue Point earlier this season.

“It’s been very difficult in this league,” coach Gary Jensen added. “We’ve been in these close situations many times and I think they favor us because their mentality is so strong. I know they believe in each other so it’s only natural that they come out on top.”

West Islip’s Carly Obloj opened the scoring off a feed from Courtney Xippolitos, but McKenna Farrell found Abby Garalis two minutes later to tie the score at one for Sayville.

Ava Obloj, Carly’s sister, scored on a free position shot to close the first quarter. Jenna Messina then had two back-to-back feeds to McNamara and Farrell to give Sayville a 3-2 lead. Carly Sgueglia tied the score at three for West Islip (5-4) before McNamara fired a shot with 20.8 seconds left in the first half.

“We needed to do a better job of faking and shooting because their goalie was very good, hats off to her,” McNamara said. “We just picked each other up after each shot and never stopped trying because we wanted this.”

West Islip goalie Makenna Gagliardi stopped eight shots. Sayville’s Julia Lilienthal finished with four saves.

“We have stuck with the mindset that we need to stay tough no matter what the scoreboard says,” Buffardi said. “And we just believe.”


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