Ava Obloj did what she normally does on free position shots.
The freshman fixed her goggles to help her focus and ran away from the defender on her right side to free her right hand. But this time, she placed her shot high in the net.
“I normally shoot low, but I feel like a lot of goalies look for low, off-hip shots on free positions,” Obloj said. “So, I put this one high and it went in.”
It was the go-ahead goal with 4:51 remaining, leading top-seeded West Islip to an 8-6 win over No. 3 Smithtown West for the Suffolk Class B girls lacrosse title, Wednesday at Stony Brook University.
With 48 seconds left, Obloj added an empty-net goal for good measure. She finished with three goals and two assists as West Islip claimed its first county title since 2018.
The title comes after two straight seasons in which the Lions missed the playoffs.
“Having been on the team the last two years, this feeling is unreal,” said Jaimey Hill, a senior.
West Islip will face the winner of Long Beach/Garden City in the Long Island Class B championship at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Adelphi University.
Hill was held scoreless until she scored off an assist from Obloj with 18:09 left in the second half. Hill added two more, including a goal with 7:59 left to give West Islip a 6-5 lead.
“We came out in the second half and wanted to push the tempo,” Hill said. “I wasn’t shooting my best to start the game, so out of halftime I just wanted to crank goals in.”
Joliana Schiavo tied the game at six for Smithtown West (11-8) with her second goal — a rebound off a save from Makenna Gagliardi with 5:55 remaining.
Gagliardi replaced West Islip’s starting goalie Avery Lanzarotta to start the second half, but the rotation is typical for the Lions.
“We’ve been doing it all year,” coach Joe Nicolosi said. “Makenna and Avery are very similar, so I wanted to share the wealth and it’s worked for this team. Everyone on the team knows their role and especially those two.”
Lanzarotta made four saves and helped West Islip (14-4) to a 3-2 halftime lead. Gagliardi also made four saves, including one on a potential tying free position shot with two minutes remaining.
Francesca Tofano and Carley Sgueglia each added a goal for the Lions.
“Our goal from the beginning was just to make playoffs,” Gagliardi said. “Once we got there, our goal was to become county champs and now we’re onto the next.”