Having been there before didn’t manage to calm the nerves of Center Moriches. The team got down early, but Megan Magill had a big performance to pull them up and crown them champion.

“The girls were nervous, it was a lot of pressure for the team to get back here and do it again,” coach Paul Raimondi said. “Our defense kept us in the game, then the offense settled down and got going.”

No. 1 Center Moriches defeated No. 3 Port Jefferson 11-7 in the Suffolk Class D grils lacrosse final on Saturday afternoon. Magill scored three goals and had two assists. Lauren Spivak scored four goals and had one assist as Center Moriches claimed their second consecutive Suffolk Class D title. Kyle Johnston scored four goals and had one assist for Port Jefferson (7-9)

Port Jefferson blitzed Center Moriches early on and jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after Anna Matvya found Caroline Hyde for a score. The Lady Devils then began to find their footing and tied the game at 4-4 when Spivak found Magill for a goal. Magill then returned the favor and found Spivak for a score to give Center Moriches a 5-4 lead going into halftime.

“I think being down early humbled us and showed us that we needed to work harder,” Magill said. “I think we learned from our mistakes and just made our adjustments.”

After no goals were scored in the first five minutes of the second half, Center Moriches punched in three goals over the next five minutes to take an 8-4 lead and take control of the game. Magill scored two goals in that stretch and the other was scored by Payton Noack.

The defense of Center Moriches stiffened up considerably to hold Port Jefferson to three goals over the final 35 minutes of the game.

Center Moriches now advances to the Long Island Championship where they await the Section VIII Class D champion.

“I think the way we played today was definitely a confidence boost,” Magill said. “It’s great to be going back again and we’re going to work for it and try to play our best.”

By Christopher Matias