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Leftovers: Cold Spring Harbor vs. North Shore

Things (that didn’t make the newspaper article) said after Cold Spring Harbor’s 8-7 win over rival North Shore. The Seahawks rallied from down 4-1 in the second half. With the win, they improved to 10-0 and placed their flag in Conference C. North Shore is in second place at 8-1.

[Aside: Yeah, I went with a little math pun theme in the story. Why? I dunno. It started with me thinking, "The teams are about even," and it went from there. Little insight into how my odd mind works. Don't be fooled, though. I'm terrible at math.]

*** It was Senior Day at North Shore on Monday, and I'd be remiss to not mention that. There was a big turnout, blue and red balloons adorned the field, and there was a nice pre-game ceremony where each player was announced with a loud speaker. Shout-out to the Vikings seniors.

And, without further ado, leftovers...

Michelle Abramczyk, who played strong defense in the midfield and helped hold North Shore’s high-scoring duo of Amanda Johansen and Lauren Janelli to a goal each.

(Useless morsel of information: I opened the interview by bragging about being able to spell Abramczyk without looking.)

Describe the game: “Definitely a battle. We played them twice last year, lost to them the first time and the second time we beat them in the semifinals, so it was going to be a battle between both of us. They were definitely coming out for blood and we were coming back at them.”

After falling behind 4-1, what clicked? “We realized we had to focus on what we practiced and what we had to do to take them out of their game.”

Winning the division title: “It feels great. All the hard work we put in is paying off. It came down to the end with North Shore, so it’s exciting.”

Abramczyk and Victoria Kotowski play together on the lacrosse and field hockey teams, and both have committed to LeHigh. “We’re good friends and we’re going to school together. It’s gonna be great. We have a great connection on and off the field. It should be awesome.”

Cold Spring Harbor coach Danielle Skakandi

On the team falling behind early: “I definitely think we came out flat the first half. We come out on the grass, which is definitely a disadvantage, and being on the road is a disadvantage. It took us a whole half to get into the game. But I think the second half we just played smart; a lot smarter than we played in the first half.”

The final minute of the game lasting about five minutes with Kotowski trying to run the clock out but drawing fouls (two yellow cards were issued). “We’ve been working on that. We talked about this being the game where we might have to stall, might have to face-guard, have to play smarter. We haven’t had to that much during the season, but doing it today gives us a boost for the playoffs.”

Claire Switala’s three clutch, second-half goals: “She hit the goalie the first couple times. I think that was her getting used to this goalie [Jennie Berglin] and how good and athletic she is. Claire has stepped up huge this year. She’s a senior captain and she’s going to Bucknell… She stepped up and showed why she’s a captain. She’s a true leader.”

Kotowski’s two goals and assist in the second half: “We spoke about it at halftime, not allowing another team to take your game away from you. I told Vic, ‘You’re one of the best players out here. You’ve got to be confident, you’ve gotta handle the pressure, and you’ve gotta finish. She stepped up in the second half tremendously. She was tough when it came to having the ball at the end on our stall, and she caused a couple cards. She took some hits and that’s just her being a tough kid. Her doing those things for us is making her a better player.”

Claire Switala scored three big goals, including the tying and go-ahead tallies.

The comeback: I think the team came together and we knew that at the end of the day it’s all about heart. We had to step up and get everyone involved. We had Jill Lee step up as a 10th grader, which was awesome. We really got pumped up for the second half and we were getting draw controls.

Improved play: “We played a lot smarter. In the first half things were a little slow. In the second half we got more into our game, moving the ball better and we were smarter with our passes and shots, and making sure we moved the goalie.”

How tough of a matchup is North Shore? “It’s always a tough game, but it’s one we were excited for. We know there’s a good chance it’s going to come down to us and them for the county championship, so both teams come out fired up and it’s always intense and fun.”

Victoria Kotowski finished with three goals and an assist.

The physicality in the final minute: “My parents always say I have a hard head so it wasn’t that bad. My teammates cleared out and let me run. They were battling, but we ended up coming out with the win.”

Physical play in general: “I love it. I love playing a game where it’s very physical. It’s exciting; it gets everyone more pumped up. I don’t mind getting hit in the arm, I’m used to it. So I actually like games like that much more.”

How rewarding is a win against North Shore? “It’s always huge to beat them, and it’s great momentum going into playoffs.”

Looking ahead to the playoffs: “I’ve been here since eighth grade and we’ve never had a county championship,” the junior said. “It would be unbelievable, especially for our seniors.”

Kotowski scored the game’s first goal at 1:46 into the contest, but the Vikings answered with a 4-0 run. “We weren’t making smart decisions and they were capitalizing on them… We weren’t taking shots in the right place, but I think we finally pulled it together after the half.”

Switala’s performance: “Claire is definitely one of our go-to girls. She finishes unbelievably inside the 8 and we rely on her at the end of games to get it done.”

Abramczyk’s defense: “Michelle is our best defender by far. The fact that she held one of the best players in the county to [one] goal says a lot about her. She didn’t stop running once and it shows she’s in great shape.”

North Shore coach Sarah Hogan

On the loss: “I think it was a good game, but they were able to hold the ball at the end, which was really helpful for them. That hurt us.”

How confident were the Vikings with a 4-1 lead? “I think that we had some confidence, but we know they’re a good team and we always play close with them. We were sort of confident, but not overconfident.”

On losing out on the division title: “We would’ve loved to win Conference C, but that’s not all there is. We hope to see them again in the playoffs and win.”

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