Isabella Germani knew she had to get the goal one way or another. And she did so with some flair.
With the score tied at 7, Germani took on her defender 1-on-1 and utilized a spin move to get past and scored the winning goal as Northport defeated Ward Melville, 8-7, in the girls lacrosse Suffolk Class A final at Newfield High School Wednesday afternoon.
“It just happened in the moment,” Germani said with a laugh about her move. “It worked out in the end.”
Northport (18-1) advances to play the winner of Syosset/Massapequa in the girls lacrosse Long Island Class A championship/Southeast Regional Final at Stony Brook University June 5 at noon.
Germani scored with 3:11 remaining in the second half and the Northport defense held Ward Melville off the scoreboard the remainder of the contest, including Emma Greenberg taking a charge with 10 seconds remaining in the half.
“We knew they were going to come out strong [in the second half] so we just had to come out stronger,” Germani said. “Getting that goal to make it 8-7 really pumped up the team and we knew we had to keep our composure and get every ground ball and keep hustling.”
Germani had four goals, Ella Cabrera had two goals and two assists and Kaylie Mackiewicz had a goal and two assists for Northport. All four of Germani’s goals either tied or broke a tie in the contest.
Grace Balocca had three goals and Jillian Gironda had a goal and two assists for Ward Melville (17-2).
Neither team scored consecutive goals throughout the first half and it was tied at 4-4 at the end. Northport took its first lead when Cabrera scored off an assist from Emma McLam to take a 5-4 advantage 2:10 into the second half.
“I’m just really proud of the relentless hustle our kids showed today,” coach Carol Rainson-Rose said. “They were relentless on the ride — it’s the best ride I’ve ever seen out of them — and they just really wanted it bad. You could tell out of the gate.”
Northport won its third straight Suffolk Class A title and won the Long Island Class A championship last season. The Tigers won the state title in 2019, the last year the state tournament was played.
“It’s a tradition of the program,” Rainson-Rose said. “That’s what we’ve talked about all morning and they want to be a part of that tradition and now the Class of 2022 can always say they were a part of a championship legacy.”
By Owen O'Brien