For Julia LoRusso and her senior teammates, the final game of their high school careers could not have been better.
LoRusso was named game MVP after scoring two first-half goals to lead the St. Dominic girls lacrosse team over St. Mary's, 16-5, in the CHSAA Class A championship Friday at Farmingdale State. The win marked St. Dominic's third league title in four years.
"I couldn't be more proud of my team," LoRusso said, "and I'm really thankful I got to walk out with three out of four."
St. Dominic (17-3) struck early and often and took a 12-3 lead into the half, after which the Bayhawks pulled most of their starters.
"We worked really hard and it was a team effort all year," said LoRusso, who will be playing for Manhattan next season. "We all contributed."
She could have been talking about the season in general or just Friday's game, which featured 12 different scorers for St. Dominic, 10 in the first half.
Freshman Jillian Mayr scored a game-high three goals and junior Casey McConnell added two goals for the Bayhawks.
Sophomore Katie Desiderio and senior Kathleen Dulligan both scored two goals for St. Mary's (11-4).
"They worked very, very hard," St. Dominic coach Michele O'Brien said. "I'm very proud of the accomplishment and what they were able to do. Great players make coaches look great."
"We had a hard preseason but it really showed off during the championship and throughout the whole season," said senior Olivia Garcia, who also scored a goal for the Bayhawks.
Fellow senior Danielle Weir, who also had a goal, agreed: "Our hard work from the beginning of the season, with all the running and the drills, paid off."
LoRusso, Weir and Garcia said another reason Friday's win was special was because of how last season ended. In last year's Class A title game, St. Dominic fell to Our Lady of Mercy, 9-4.
"It definitely made us better and more hungry to get the championship this year," LoRusso said.
In getting there and winning it, LoRusso and her fellow seniors earned a perfect send-off.