This was Jamie Ortega’s goal since before the season.
In the beginning of spring, the senior bound for North Carolina said she wanted a county lacrosse championship to cap her stellar career. With five goals and an assist Tuesday, Ortega helped Middle Country realize her aspirations.
Ortega’s six points and Ava Barry’s goal and five assists led third-seeded Middle Country to a 13-3 win over No. 5 Northport in the Suffolk Class A final at St. Joseph’s Athletic Complex in Patchogue.
“It’s just really indescribable,” Ortega said of the first county title in program history. “They’re my family, and I’m so proud of them and what we did today.”
Middle Country will play the winner of Thursday’s Massapequa-Port Washington game for the Long Island championship at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Adelphi’s Motamed Field.
Middle Country (16-3) stormed to an early 4-0 lead and held a 7-1 advantage at halftime. Barry assisted the final three goals of the half.
It was Ortega’s presence at the start of the second half that sealed the win for Middle Country. After Northport picked up a Middle Country shot behind the cage, Ortega raced back to defend. Her incessant pressure caused a turnover, and she picked up the ground ball. She fired to Barry near the cage, and she dished back to Ortega for the finish. Middle Country led 8-1 with 23:15 remaining and held steady from there.
“I just wanted to show them that just because I’m offense, doesn’t mean I can’t do defense, too,” Ortega said. “I was all in today. I would’ve jumped in goal if I had to. I would’ve sacrificed my body for this team.”
The sentiment of “all in” was shared up and down the roster. The defense held Northport (13-5) to 12 shots, and Emily Walsh made nine saves. Jennifer Barry, Ava’s younger sister, led Middle Country to a 13-5 draw advantage. The offense had assists on nine of its 13 goals.
“If I was on another team, I’d be a little scared,” Ava Barry said.