Lily Berchin knows that she should have known how much time was left when she possessed the ball near the opposing goal in the closing seconds of the second overtime period.
But she was honest following the game. She didn’t know. She just knew there wasn’t much time left. And when she fired her shot with 10 seconds left in the period, she flew in the air and didn’t know the end result until she heard her teammates celebrate.
“I should have but I didn’t,” Berchin said. “I said, ‘We have to go. It’s go time’ and I just went for it. I thought I missed at first but then I saw them start cheering.”
Berchin’s goal delivered second-seeded Westhampton its first girls lacrosse county championship in program history with a 6-5 double-overtime victory over No. 1 Comsewogue in the Suffolk Class B final at Newfield High School Wednesday.
“I was in shock,” Berchin said. “I was on the ground and all of a sudden I saw the ball in the back of the net and everyone started swarming me. It felt great.”
Westhampton (12-6) advances to play the Nassau Class B champion in the Long Island Class B championship/Southeast Regional Final at Stony Brook University June 5 at 2 p.m.
Comsewogue (12-5) took a 3-0 lead less than nine minutes into the contest and led 4-1 at halftime. But still, Westhampton coach Mary Bergmann said the team remained poised. “We were just confident the whole time we could do it,” Bergmann said. “There was maybe one little moment when we were down 3-0 our heads went down, I called a timeout and I said 3-0 is nothing.”
Westhampton didn’t make any drastic overhauls at halftime. The Hurricanes simply knew they just had to execute better. “We have a very young team and I think since this is most of the girls’ first big playoff game, we were a little spooked,” senior midfielder Olivia Rongo said. “Basically the halftime conversation was ‘This is not us. We have to play like we know we can’ and that’s what we did in the second half.”
Westhampton outscored Comsewogue 4-1 in the second half, including Rongo scoring her third goal of the game with 4:49 left to tie the score at 5.
Freshman goalkeeper Maya Farnan elevated her game in the second half, including a pivotal save on a wraparound shot in the final minute of regulation and a split save with one minute left in the second overtime period.
“I was just saying ‘I need to keep this from going behind me, our season is on the line,’” Farnan said. “Especially in overtime when it’s sudden death, you just have to put your everything into it to keep that small yellow ball out of the net.”