Northport, the wire-to-wire best team in Suffolk, is headed to Cortland to try and capture its first state crown following a 14-7 win over two-time defending state champion Farmingdale in the Long Island Championship. First up for Northport is Section I champion Lakeland-Panas at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
The Tigers have a roster full of Division I-bound players, led by attacks Shannon Gilroy and Cortney Fortunato and midfielder Megan Marinelli. Gilroy and Fortunato are two of the top scorers on Long Island with 135 and 124 points, respectively. Gilroy’s 97 goals are best on LI. Gilroy led the way with four goals against Farmingdale despite playing with a sprained right ankle which she said has been feeling better in the week since suffering the injury.
Northport coach Carol Rose was thrilled after her team’s dominant win Saturday.
“They’ve been talking about it since they lost against Bay Shore [in the county final] last year,” Rose said. “They said, ‘Coach, this is our year. We’re going to do our best to get us up there.’ They have. They’ve given us everything they’ve got. I love them.”
Northport will be without starting midfielder Erin Magnuson, who will serve the second of her two-game suspension for a controversial red card in the Suffolk finals. The Tigers had no problem shutting down Farmingdale’s Kelly McPartland and Jamie Leone without Magnuson and Mary Pat Theofield (knee) thanks to outstanding play on defense. They are very motivated to give Magnusson a chance to get back on the field for Saturday's state final.
Northport (18-2) is ranked No. 7 by LaxPower and No. 15 by ESPN Rise. Lakeland-Panas (16-3-1) is No. 136 and No. 20 respectively. Lakeland-Panas defeated Niskayuna, 12-11, to advance to the state semifinals, thanks to junior Emma Bozek’s six goals and an assist. Bozek has been hot in the playoffs ,and the Tigers will undoubtedly focus their defense on her and Anna Jeszeck, who leads the team with 74 goals.
Should the Tigers advance, they will face the winner of West Genesee and Pittsford in the finals at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Both of those teams are undefeated and rated highly by LaxPower and ESPN Rise.