The Seaford girls lacrosse team entered this season as a confident bunch. And the Vikings proved throughout the year that their moxie was deserved.
Host Seaford defeated Bethpage, 14-9, in Nassau Conference II girls lacrosse Wednesday to clinch the conference title. Seaford improved to 9-0 in the conference and 11-3 overall.
“I said on paper, we should win and we all knew it,” coach Jenna Ammon said. “It was just a matter of if we executed, which is the harder part. We had that goal from the beginning that this is what should happen as long as we do all the right things.”
Seaford finished 8-7 last season but returned its entire starting lineup. The Vikings knew that experience would make all the difference this spring.
“We only graduated one senior so it wasn’t really the players that changed,” said Amanda Ettinger, who had two goals and one assist. “It’s just how we started to play as one whole instead of separate girls. That really helped us. It’s a big difference having that chemistry.”
Alex Leggio had a goal and four assists and Dylan Lee had three goals and an assist Wednesday.
“We always knew we had it in us,” Leggio said. “We were really confident coming into the season and I think that confidence really converted into wins.”
Seaford lost four of its seven games by one goal last season, including two one-goal losses to Bethpage.
“We go into every game knowing we are the better team,” Ammon said. “We returned everyone from last year, we knew how to play together, we got better from last year, so definitely their confidence and going into each game knowing we are the better team has helped us out.”
Kailyn Salony had four goals for Bethpage (6-2). The Vikings led 7-5 at halftime after a back-and-forth opening 25 minutes and closed the final 10 minutes on a 3-1 scoring run.
Seaford’s experience and balance have been a pivotal part of its success. Amanda Williamson, Danielle McHugh and Jessica Grzelaczyk each added two goals with Brooke Surace and Emily Montagano each adding a goal and an assist. Maddy Catalanotti had 12 saves behind a strong defensive effort.
“It’s just being one unit,” Leggio said. “I think having everyone being a contributor has made us a big threat. It’s really hard to stop someone with a really rounded team and I think that’s what we have.”
The Vikings look to carry their success into the playoffs entering the final week of the regular season.
“It definitely reassures us that we do have the talent and the confidence and grit to maybe go really far,” Leggio said. “It’s a huge momentum boost we really did need.”
Source: By Newsday's Owen O'Brien