Inch by inch. That's the slogan for the Eastport-South Manor girls lacrosse team, referencing a speech in the movie "Any Given Sunday" about diligence.
But for this team, it also could serve as an ode to Kristin Anderson and all 74 of her inches.
The junior came up big, scoring four goals and winning six draws as the Sharks beat top-seeded Sayville, 10-6, Thursday in the Suffolk Class B final.
In a way, second-seeded ESM repeating as champions was a tall order.
"The team definitely looked up to me," the 6-2 Anderson said. They literally do, but she corrected herself: "I meant they've looked to me this year to step up and have an impact."
After graduating All-American Dene' DiMartino, the Sharks needed contributions from elsewhere. Anderson is a converted basketball player, still learning lacrosse's nuances. But in a game of inches, she certainly measured up to the competition.
Anderson tied it at 3 with 10:32 left in the first half. After Dakota Mason put the Sharks ahead three minutes later, Anderson struck again. The attack posted up near the crease, caught a high lob pass and scored with an overhand shot from 4 yards.
"When she puts her stick up, there isn't anyone who can deflect the shot or even check it," ESM coach Becky Thorn said.
Marissa Gurello, who had three goals and an assist, made it 9-4 with 3:31 remaining. Samantha Giacolone had nine saves for ESM (15-4).
Sayville was without Taylor Mills, one of its top scorers, but still had a capable offense. ESM's Rebecca Tooker (three turnovers) led a defense that held the Golden Flashes scoreless for a 25-minute stretch that began late in the first half.
Kaitlyn Wandelt had four goals and two assists, and Gianna Minogue made five saves for Sayville (15-3).
"We were underdogs, but we didn't play scared," Tooker said. "We were confident we'd come out on top."
Head and shoulders above the competition.