At the end of regulation in yesterday's Nassau Conference I girls lacrosse game between Cold Spring Harbor and South Side, the referees gathered the captains to explain the procedure for overtime. Two three-minute periods played in full, regardless of score.
"You guys can score 27 goals apiece," the ref said. "We're still playing."
But defenses ruled both sides of this one. All it took was one goal, late in the first overtime from Cold Spring Harbor's Victoria Kotowski, to give the host Seahawks a 6-5 victory.
Kotowski, who forced extra time when she tied it at five with 32 seconds remaining, validated the defense's work.
"We trust Vic," said goalie Colleen Nofi. "I was hoping she'd put it away and she pulled through."
Nofi, a senior, hasn't had a problem taking over for three-time All-County goalie Kendall Mason, now at UMBC. Thursday she made eight saves, several from close range.
"A lot of those are just watching the girl's stick," Nofi said. "They get frazzled. I come out to them and they don't know what to do with the ball."
South Side's defense was equally brilliant. Kelsey Gregerson made 10 saves and helped the Cyclones overcome a 3-1 halftime deficit.
"They have a lot of confidence in her," said South Side coach Meaghan Healey. "She moves. She's not afraid to come out of the goal and go after the ball."
Sam Morin tied it at three midway through the second half, then gave South Side a 4-3 lead with 5:46 left. Jackie Cifarelli extended the lead with a goal a minute later.
Liz Ludlow set up Kotowski's tying goal, cutting it to 5-4 with her second goal at 3:30.
South Side was making its Conference I debut. Said Healey: "Both teams had an awesome day. This is something you expect to see at the end of the season . . . Time just ran out."
CSH's defense did not allow a goal for the final 10 minutes.
"You just have to stay tough," said Michelle Abramczyk, CSH's top defender. "Get your arms up and let them come at you. Just mark their moves and stay with them throughout the whole game."