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Jamie Ortega scores 7 goals as Middle Country tops Smithtown West

Middle Country defeated Smithtown West, 18-6, in a Suffolk I girls lacrosse game at Newfield High School on April 26, 2017. (Credit: Newsday/Kenny DeJohn)

When the Middle Country girls lacrosse team scores a goal, the bench erupts in song.

Because the Mad Dogs were unable to find somebody to play goal songs over the speaker system, those not playing improvise, singing a line from the chosen track of each individual scorer.

They flexed their vocal chords early and often Wednesday, as host Middle Country defeated Smithtown West, 18-6, in Suffolk I.

“They’re really fun,” said Centereach senior Rachel Masullo, who scored three goals, all on free positions. “They make you laugh and motivate you to play harder.”

Masullo helped conduct the Mad Dogs, but it was Jamie Ortega of Centereach who worked best in concert with the offense, scoring seven goals and notching two assists. Considered the No. 1 2017 recruit in the nation by Inside Lacrosse, the North Carolina-bound star leads Suffolk with 73 points (48 goals, 25 assists).

Ortega opened the scoring on a feed from Ava Barry 50 seconds into the game. She scored the first three goals for Middle Country (9-1), then tallied three more during the Mad Dogs’ 11-0 run spanning the final 16:03 of the first half and first 13:31 of the second.

Her free position goal with 11:29 remaining gave Middle Country a 17-3 advantage against Smithtown West (6-3), which handed the Mad Dogs their only loss of the regular season last year, 12-11.

“Last year we lost to them, and this year we were really expecting a tough game,” Ortega said. “We almost won every draw and we just kept going after it.”

The Mad Dogs won 20 of 27 draws, allowing them to set up an offense featuring a bevy of elusive athletes. Ortega is a natural lefty slasher, and Masullo has the wheels to burst past most defenders. Her twin sister, Amanda, boasts similar speed.

Ortega said the Mad Dogs “thrive off speed,” and such a fast offense bodes well for all involved. Fast breaks and quick passing allowed several players to take center stage, including Ava Barry (three goals, three assists) and Sophie Alois (three goals).

Middle Country has been an offensive juggernaut this season, outscoring opponents 178-78.

And like clockwork after each goal, those on the sidelines belt lyrics in unison. Masullo graded her teammates’ singing favorably, calling it a “perfect 10.”

But they should rest their voices for the final weeks of the regular season, as there could be a lot more goals for this Mad Dogs offense.

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