COLD SPRING HARBOR, New York, June 12
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way.
“You’d like to sit down and think that we just didn’t execute, but that wasn’t the case,” Danielle Skakandi, head coach for the Cold Spring Harbor varsity girls lacrosse team, said. “We shut down their no. 1 player the entire game, but that ball rolled into her stick at the last second and that was it.”
Skakandi is referring to a game played between Cold Spring Harbor (14-6) and Skaneateles (22-1) on Saturday at SUNY Cortland, where the Seahawks fell 12-11.
Unfortunately for Skakandi and her troops, the game marked the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class C girls lacrosse championship.
“It was just bad luck,” Skakandi said of the game, in which the Seahawks lost on goal scored with just two seconds left to play. “[But] it doesn’t take away from what these girls have accomplished this season.”
With the Seahawks taking home the Long Island Class C championship for the first time this century on June 1, Skakandi is right.
After defeating Bayport-Blue Point to secure the Long Island title, the Seahawks traveled to Cortland last week to face off against Bronxville (12-8-2), a team hailing from Westchester. The Broncos entered this year’s state tournament as the no. 1 seed, and after Cold Spring Harbor earned a semifinal matchup against them, not many picked the Seahawks to advance.
You wouldn’t have guessed that, though, with the Seahawks dominating the game 16-4.
“Against Bronxville, I think we wanted to gain a little respect, set the tone and make name for ourselves,” Skakandi said.
The Seahawks did just that with the help of 7 goals from sophomore Samantha DeBellis that stamped Cold Spring Harbor’s ticket to the final.
“I think she was hungry,” Skakandi said. “She had been a little quieter in the games leading up to the playoffs, so I think she wanted to get things done, and she really stepped it up come playoff time.”
In the finals against Skaneateles (Onondaga County, N.Y.), though, DeBellis was silenced. Brooke Jensen, Lindsey Willcocks, Holly Logan, Ashley Lynch and Tara Atkinson all had multi-goal games in the state championship, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough for Cold Spring Harbor, which traveled home without the title.
“We played one of our best games of the year, but we had a couple of unlucky calls go against us,” Skakandi said of the finals, where Skaneateles’ last possession was set up by a penalty.
Despite the loss, Skakandi looks forward to her ninth season next year with the Seahawks.
“We have six juniors… a bunch of sophomores, one freshman and four seniors – but only one of those seniors played – so, for the most part, this team is all returning,” Skakandi said. “This year a lot of them played like it was their last year, but now they have another year to come back and do it again [and now] they have a taste of what it’s like.”
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander (Thursday, June 12, 2014; A31)