Lexi Burke wasn’t going to let this one slip away.
After Wheatley continued pushing the attack in the second half and into overtime, the Wildcats lined up for a free kick with 1:51 remaining in the second overtime. Burke delivered in the game’s biggest moment, sending a ball to the top-right corner for the winning goal as No. 2 Wheatley defeated No. 1 Cold Spring Harbor, 2-1, in the girls soccer Nassau B final Monday night at Bethpage High School.
“I knew if I made it in then this was it," Burke said. "My team has been wanting this for so long and they put so much effort into it and I just took it. I was like ‘Is this a dream?' ”
Wheatley (4-4-3) advances to play Mattituck/Southold/Greenport (9-8), the Suffolk B champion, in the Long Island Class B championship/Southeast regional final Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Islip High School. Cold Spring Harbor ends its season at 6-4-4.
“The camaraderie on this team, I’ve never seen it on any team I’ve coached, even that I played on myself," coach Michelle Santoro said. "They want to win for each other, not only themselves, and it’s nice to see them enjoy every practice and every game together.”
Wheatley has won at least a share of the Nassau B final in six-straight seasons, advancing to its third straight Long Island Class B championship.
Grace Hudson opened the scoring for Cold Spring Harbor, striking from 30 yards out and sending the shot to the upper-left corner of the net to give the Seahawks a 1-0 lead with 21:04 remaining.
Wheatley pushed the pace throughout the second half, finally breaking through with a header by Samantha Rothstein off a rebound of Burke's free-kick from 55 yards out with 3:36 remaining in the game to tie the score at 1 and force overtime.
“My coach told me to go for it because we were already down 1-0," Rothstein said. "And there wasn’t much time left, so once I got up there, I saw my teammate get a head on it, I got a rebound and it was just wide open for me and I knew I had to get a head on it and it was just amazing to see that happen.”
Wheatley outshot Cold Spring Harbor, 15-3, including 9-3 with shots on net.
The Wheatley backline, featuring Julia Braito, Kaitlin Schriefer, Katharine Gold and Rothstein, with Cecilia Jozef in net limited the scoring and possession chances for Cold Spring Harbor.
Both teams possessed and pushed the ball in the first 10-minute overtime period, without either squad able to break through for a goal.
Isabella Rios and Rebecca Sparacio executed a give-and-go and forced a corner kick less than two minutes into the second overtime for Wheatley, but the ensuing shot was sent over the net.