Because space is limited in the paper – which doesn’t always jibe with my verbosity – the newspaper version that’ll run in the morning is going to be shorter than I’d like. But, this being a county final, I figured I’d give the game its due and do an extended version on the blog. Bandwidth don’t come with a word count. So, here goes…
By Stephen Haynes
The Farmingdale coaching staff calls Jamie Leone the “quarterback of the offense.” Sure, with her controlling the ball on most possessions and slinging pinpoint passes within the pocket, err, 8-meter arc.
Point guard analogies work, too. Leone likes to slip from behind the cage on a crease roll and is often presented the option: goal or assist. Atypical of an attack, Leone, who leads Nassau with 55 assists, prefers to pass. She’ll usually scan for a teammate on the cut in good position to shoot. Call it the pick-and-goal offense.
Wednesday night, though, there were a few more “QB” keepers than usual. Leone scored a season-high five goals and had three assists to lead the top-seeded Dalers, who captured a sixth straight Nassau Class A title with a 17-10 win over Massapequa at Hofstra.
The bridesmaid in all those finals? Massapequa.
"They're our biggest rival, so it's the best when we beat them,” Leone said. The Farmingdale boys team had beaten Massapequa on Tuesday in their final. “But we have bigger goals than this. I want that bus ride to Cortland [for the state tournament].”
Farmingdale will face the winner of Thursday’s Bay Shore/Northport game in the Long Island Championship on Saturday.
Kim Kolodny’s goal – off a feed from Leone – at 13:33 in the first half gave the Dalers a 6-0 lead. Leone scored twice in the final two minutes of the half to make it 9-3.
“It was the start of the game,” Farmingdale coach Shari Campbell said. “Getting out quick and having that cushion at the beginning of the game is what sustained us for the remainder.”
The second-seeded Chiefs rallied early in the second half and Jackie Kennedy’s goal at 16:25 pulled them within 10-7, but Kelly McPartland and Amanda Turturro answered. Leone scored twice midway through the second half to help rebuild the lead and Kyra Ochwat’s goal with 11:50 left made it 16-7.
“Last time we played them, I didn't play up to par,” said Leone, who had a goal and three assists in the Dalers’ 14-9 win that clinched the Conference A-I title. “This being the county finals, I really wanted to do well.”
Said Campbell of her quarterback: “She's a senior who doesn’t want to stop playing yet. She and Kelly [McPartland] set the tone for the whole week in practice.”
Kolodny had three goals, and Ochwat and McPartland each added two goals and two assists for Farmingdale (16-1). Danielle Doherty and Kelsey O’Brien each scored three goals for Massapequa (12-5).
“Massapequa is a tough, tenacious team that never stops playing hard," Campbell said. "This victory was a big relief.”
And in Kaitlin Gaghan’s eyes, anything less for a Daler would’ve been uncivilized.
“It's just something we do,” the defender said. “We enjoy being county champs and we're used to it. We're Farmingdale."