Jamie Ortega entered Sunday’s Long Island Class A girls lacrosse championship game needing three points to become the state’s all-time leading scorer.
She got that out of the way quickly.
Ortega assisted on Middle Country’s first two goals and scored the third on an assist from Ava Barry, breaking Shannon Gilroy’s record of 570 points while at Northport, according to Middle Country coach Lindsay Dolson.
Of course, Ortega didn’t stop there. Her three goals and four assists led Middle Country to a 10-9 win over Massapequa at Adelphi’s Motamed Field.
Massapequa made things interesting late, scoring the game’s final three goals, but Ortega won the final draw with 43.1 seconds left.
Middle Country (18-3) will make its first state semifinal appearance when it plays North Rockland at SUNY Cortland on Friday.
“Today, my biggest goal was just winning this game and being there for my teammates,” said Ortega, a senior bound for North Carolina. “I really couldn’t accomplish breaking that record without them.”
When Ortega assisted on a goal by Barry to put Middle Country ahead 10-6 with 3:50 to play, it seemed like a comfortable lead. But Massapequa freshman Alexa Gentile scored each of her three goals in the final 3:06, closing the deficit to one.
Middle Country called a timeout, and the message was simple: win the draw.
So Ortega, who has filled so many roles for Middle Country, took charge. She sprinted hard off the draw circle, reached up and nabbed the ball out of midair, sealing the win.
“That’s just Jamie,” Dolson said. “I knew she would get it.”
Massapequa (11-7), which trailed 9-4 with 9:14 left, got consecutive goals from Jackie Gatti and Moira Callahan to cut its deficit to 9-6 with 5:59 left.
Ortega and Barry were crucial in the second half, when offense was harder to come by for Middle Country. Barry scored twice and Ortega once, with each of the goals assisted by the other.
Ortega was responsible for getting things rolling early, either scoring or assisting on each of the team’s first five goals. Rachel Masullo and Sophie Alois scored at the end of the first half to give Middle Country a 7-4 halftime lead.
“I’m really proud of her,” Barry said. “Jamie really deserves all the recognition she gets. She really is an amazing player. I’m grateful I’ve been on a team with her.”
Dolson agreed. “I wish every coach could have a kid like her to coach in their lifetime,” she said. “She’s an amazing kid. She’s so humble.”