North Shore will square off Wednesday with Cold Spring Harbor for the Nassau Class C girls lacrosse championship in a matchup that, for two seasons seemed imminent . . . except it almost didn't happen.
It took Amanda Johansen's goal with 54 seconds left to lift North Shore over Seaford, 13-12, Thursday night in a semifinal. North Shore rallied from a two-goal deficit in the final minutes.
"We wanted this so bad," said Johansen, who had seven goals and two assists. "We [went] almost three weeks without a game, just practices. We weren't going to let that go to waste."
Tess Korten and Micaela Dussel each had two goals, and Alexis Greene made nine saves for second-seeded North Shore (13-3). Emma Schait scored four goals, Amelia Taylor had three goals and an assist, and Ali Glazer scored twice for No. 3 Seaford (12-5). Diana Rice made 12 saves.
Cold Spring Harbor, behind Holly Logan's six goals and Haley Crosson's 11 saves, punched its ticket with an 18-6 win over No. 4 Locust Valley in an earlier semifinal. "We weren't going to take them lightly," said Cold Spring Harbor coach Danielle Skakandi, whose team lost to Locust Valley in last year's semifinal. "We know what it felt like walking off the field last year and we wanted to make sure it didn't happen again."
Last season, the Seahawks were the top seed, favored to meet No. 2 North Shore in the final. But Locust Valley, also seeded fourth then, stunned them, 13-12, in double overtime. North Shore went on to win the county championship.
This time, it was Seaford that nearly busted the bracket.
North Shore had beaten the Vikings, 20-12, in their regular-season meeting, but "knowing what Seaford has done throughout the season," North Shore coach Jeff Butt said, "we knew this would be a different game."
Seaford surged in the second half and took a 12-10 lead on Taylor's goal with 5:05 remaining. Dussel scored with 3:01 left to pull the Vikings within 1, and Johansen tied it on a free-position shot at 1:55. "Amanda's a great athlete in the sense that she knows when she needs to step up and she does," Butt said.
Tied at 12, Seaford was whistled for an infraction before the draw and possession was awarded to North Shore. Referees said a player attempted to call timeout but Seaford was without one.
On the winning play, Johansen darted in from the left, found room, and fired a low liner from about 3 yards. North Shore won the last draw and ran out the clock.
So the stage is set for the archrivals: 4 p.m. Wednesday at Adelphi. "It's going to be a battle," Butt said. "It always is, and probably always will be."
The last four meetings between Cold Spring Harbor and North Shore have been decided by a goal. The Seahawks have won the last three, including 12-11 in the regular-season finale.
"We don't want that to happen again," Johansen said. "We'll do whatever we can to change the outcome."