Normally teams wait until after winning a championship to go to Disney World, but Northport's Courtney Fortunato and her Yellow Jackets team actually won their title at The Happiest Place on Earth.
Fortunato (pictured left in a game against Bay Shore this season) scored a game-high five goals to lead her squad to a 12-5 win over Stars Gold (Va.) in the final of the Under-15 U.S. Lacrosse national championships held at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Tuesday.
Alexis Maffucci of Half Hollow Hills added three goals and an assist, and Emily Columbus (also of Northport) scored twice. Dorrien VanDyke (another Northport Tiger) and Julia DiMaria (Half Hollow Hills) each scored one goal.
The Yellow Jackets, guided by Northport coach Carol Rose, finished the tournament a perfect 6-0.
"It feels awesome," Fortunato told Lacrosse Magazine. "It was a bummer last year when we got knocked off in the playoffs ... It's really cool to win the championship."
Added Rose: "It was our mission. We as a coaching staff picked this team in particular to come down here and win it."
Fortunato, who scored 75 goals this past season for Northport, and Maffucci were named to the All Tournament Team along with defender Taylor Bleistein of Locust Valley, and goalie Rachel Ramirez from Lindenhurst.
In pool play, the Yellow Jackets won three games over teams from California (16-1), Georgia (16-0) and Virginia (9-5). In the playoffs, they beat a Florida team 17-1, another California team 17-4 and Stars Gold 12-5 for a total margin of victory of 87-16.
**In the Champion High School Showcase, a U.S. Lacrosse event for seniors also at The Wide World of Sports Complex, Melanie Raso of Farmingdale was named the Most Valuable Player for the Freedom squad.
Her teammate, Rocky Point's Kara Mupo, scored four goals in the bronze medal game, but Team Freedom still fell 15-13 in overtime. Raso had three assists, Chelsey Newman of Shoreham-Wading River had a goal and two assists, and Addie Reilly of Portledge scored twice in the losing effort, while Kait Brosco of SWR scored one goal for Team Pride.
Shannon Mangini of Garden City was on the winning Team Liberty, and scored two goals in the title game.