Our Lady of Mercy defeated Kennedy Catholic, 13-12, in double...

Our Lady of Mercy defeated Kennedy Catholic, 13-12, in double overtime in the girls lacrosse state CHSAA Class A championship game at Manhattan College on Sunday. Credit: Newsday/Owen O'Brien

The players on the Our Lady of Mercy girls lacrosse team had a moment when they thought they were in over their heads. And there was fair reason to think so.

Our Lady of Mercy was on the wrong side of the game’s opening seven goals against Kennedy Catholic in the state final. To say there was some worry may be an understatement.

“I think we were a little psyched out at first,” said Sabrina Boyle, a sophomore midfielder. “Watching them warm up and they have probably twice as big of a team as us, that definitely intimidates us. But I think after those seven goals, we realized what our mistakes were and we just needed to execute.”

And that’s exactly what the Mustangs did. Our Lady of Mercy rallied from that initial seven-goal deficit to defeat Kennedy Catholic, 13-12, in double overtime in the girls lacrosse state CHSAA Class A final at Manhattan College’s Gaelic Park on Sunday.

“I think it was just nerves for us and being like, ‘I can’t believe we are here,’ and not having that much faith in ourselves,” said Sophia Siniscalchi, a senior attack. “But once we got that first one in the back of the net, that really gave us that push to go and leave everything out on the field.”

Boyle scored the winning goal off a free position with 45.4 seconds left in the second overtime to deliver the Mustangs the state title. Boyle caused a turnover, scooped up the ground ball and earned the foul to set up the winner.

“I knew this had to be it,” Boyle said. “There was one girl on my right and no one on the left of me, so I wanted to fake high and shoot wherever the goalie wasn't. I knew how to shoot it, I just needed to execute the right way and I’m glad I did it.”

She also passed the credit to her teammates for helping to force the turnover before the winning goal.

“Our team did a really good job of intimidating the goalie and getting her to drop the ball,” Boyle said. “Ground balls really do win games and I’ve said that my entire career of lacrosse so getting that ground ball and causing that foul really set us up for the win. But I think our team’s intimidation on the goalie really helped in that moment.”

Boyle scored on a free position with 17.4 seconds left in the second half to give Our Lady of Mercy a 12-11 lead. But Kennedy Catholic’s Noula O’Reilly answered with a free-position goal with 0.6 seconds left to force overtime. Siniscalchi scored with 2:56 left in the second half to tie the score at 11 before Boyle’s goal.

“This shows how much we deserved this and how hard we worked to get this win,” Siniscalchi said. “ We played our game and that’s what’s most important.”

Our Lady of Mercy (8-8) never led until Boyle’s goal with 17.4 seconds left. Kennedy Catholic (10-8) scored seven goals in the opening 15:37 before Boyle’s first goal with 7:58 left in the first half.

“They just have heart, they really do,” coach Kaitlyn Meyer said. “And they wanted this win today and they really proved it. Being down 7-0, it really lit a fire under them and they showed up and I can not be more proud of them.”

Our Lady of Mercy cut Kennedy Catholic’s lead to 7-4 at halftime. The Mustangs tied the score at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn’t break through until the final minute.

Blake Schultz, who Boyle said has earned the nickname “Brick Schultz,” had 15 saves, including three point-blank shots in the final five minutes of regulation.

“Overall, we just needed to be patient and think about what the end goal was,” Boyle said. “We really wanted this.”

But as has been the case the majority of the season, Boyle had the final answer for Our Lady of Mercy. The sophomore midfielder finished with 83 goals and 16 assists, including 21 goals in three playoff games.

“I’m sure she was exhausted, but she found that little extra 5% to give at the end of the game and it really showed,” Meyer said. “It’s definitely great having her around and it’s even better that I have her for two more years. She’s really going to blossom, she’s going to do much in such a short period of time.

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