By Chris Goldberg
LiLacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/25/14
There was a lot of pressure on the Long Island Metro 1 team when it stared down its opponent in the championship game of the Onondaga division today at the US Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament at Cedar Lane Sports Park in Bel Air, Md.
The foe was familiar: Long Island Metro 2.
In an all-Long Island final, LI Metro defeated LI Metro 2, 13-8, for the coveted Val Walchak Trophy as the champion of the top division in a tourney that featured 63 teams from 29 states and Washington D.C.
Long Island Metro 1 had plenty of motivation since it fell in the finals each of the past two years and had several returning players from the squads.
“It was a lot of fun, but we had to prove ourselves that we were not only best nationa-wide, but on Long Island,” said 2015 attack and Heather Leigh Albert finalist Nikki Ortega (Middle County, Notre Dame commit), who had two goals. “If we had lost it would have been even worse.”
For Ortega, it would indeed have been worse – her sister, Jamie, a 2017 attack, was a member of Long Island Metro 2.
“Playing against my sister made it a little more of a rivalry,” she said.
“A lot of people on our team are from the (LI) Yellowjackets and some from TopGuns, but we’ve all played together before and we all know each other.”
Long Island Metro 1 used a 4-0 run at the end of the first half to turn a 6-4 deficit into an 8-6 halftime lead. Junior Sydney Pirreca (Mt. Sinai, Florida commit) had four goals and 2016 Katie Hoeg (Mattituck, UNC commit) had three goals while junior goalie Samantha Giacolone (Eastport-South Manor).
Freshman Sophia Triandafils (Shoreham-Wading River and junior Kasey Mitchell (Mt. Sinai) each had two goals for Long Island 2.
“It was good playing Long Island 2 because we were representing Long Island teams,” said Pirreca, whose undefeated high school team is shooting for a second straight state title. “It was definitely more pressure because everyone expected us to win. If we hadn’t, it would have looked bad.”
Pirreca – also a Heather Leigh Albert Award finalist – said the biggest win of the weekend may have been the 11-10 victory over Baltimore 1 on Saturday.
“That was kind of big,” she said. “We know a lot of the girls from Skywalkers and we had to come back from a three-goal deficit. It was great beating Baltimore in Maryland.”