Mt. Sinai midfield Peyton Choma heads into the Westhampton zone...

Mt. Sinai midfield Peyton Choma heads into the Westhampton zone after winning the face off in a Suffolk quarterfinal playoff game, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Credit: George A Faella

When Peyton Choma fired a shot into the cage for her second score of the day, Mount Sinai owned a four-goal lead over Westhampton with 18:05 left. Who knew there would be such a sweaty finish ahead?

Well, Choma said that she had an idea. 

The advantage indeed shrunk to one with 9:08 remaining. But the sixth-seeded Mustangs managed to hang on for a 7-6 win Wednesday at No. 3 Westhampton in a Suffolk Class C opening-round girls lacrosse game.

“Honesty, I knew that Westhampton’s a good team and they would come back,” Choma said. “But I knew that our team is so strong and (so) full of amazing players … that we’d be able to hang on and go forward.”

Alexa Spallina paced them with three goals and an assist, all in the first half. Mount Sinai was out there trying to honor the memory of Matt LoNigro, a friend of the program who passed away May 10 at age 51.

“We knew we were playing for something bigger than us,” coach Shayna Pirreca said. “We wanted to represent him and make him and his family proud today, and I think we accomplished that.”

So now comes Saturday’s semifinal at No. 2 Sayville. The 10-5 Mustangs are in pursuit of the program’s first county title since 2018.

“This is an extremely talented team,” Pirreca said, “and I think we can make a huge run in the playoffs.”

After Choma made it 7-3, Reese King countered for the Hurricanes from almost 10 yards out.

Then Ava Derby scored her second on a free position run down the middle — 7-5. 

Then King scored her second on 10-yard rocket off a free position play — 7-6. 

Westhampton, which finished 10-7 after taking Suffolk and Long Island titles in Class B last year, nearly tied it with about 6 1/2 minutes left. But a shot hit the right pipe.

“We’re a young team, and I think one of our biggest issues this year has been playing a complete game,” Hurricanes coach Mary Bergmann said. “I always say you lose in playoffs with what your biggest issue was in the season.”

Mount Sinai took a 6-2 halftime lead on three unassisted goals and three assisted goals.

“We look to feed the ball before we look to go to the cage,” Spallina said. “I think we’re all a bunch of best friends out there playing for each other.”

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