By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 4/19/15
Natalie Langella scored her second goal of the game at the final buzzer to give Northport (N.Y.) a thrilling 8-7 victory over Sayville (N.Y.) at the Gains for Brains Lacrosse Showcase at Cold Spring Harbor High School.
The event – which featured six games involving top teams from the East Coast – was founded by MSG Varsity’s Andrew (Raff) Rappaport. All proceeds go to the Making Headway Foundation, which benefits kids with brain or spinal cord tumors.
“We needed to stay calm and composed,” said Langella. “We knew we had to get the ball in the back of the net. I knew we had a short amount of time and I saw myself open and knew I had to get it in the back of the net.
“We came back from a few losses this week. This was our fourth game of the week and we knew we needed a win here.
“This is a huge confidence booster. It is fun being out here for a charity event. It is for a good cause and it is fun coming out and getting a win. Just being out here playing for a good cause is great.”
At the 6:50 mark of the first half Northport (4-3) took a 3-2 lead but a minute later Mackenzie Burns tied the game to spark a 5-0 run that put Sayville (6-2) up 7-3 at the 10:28 mark of the second half. Eighth grade goalie Claire Morris made sure that would be the last goal Sayville scored, grabbing 10 saves in the second half to key the comeback.
“You just really have to keep your head in the game and don’t get flustered,” said Morris. “I was just really concentrating on the ball and making sure I was moving fast and exploding to the ball. I felt really awesome because it was really great to come back.
“This just lifts the team up and gives us a lot of confidence. It is really great to do what I love and be helping a great cause.”
With 6:50 left in the game Emily Yoo tied it.
Gabbi Labuskes tallied two goals for Northport.
“This was pretty sloppy with a lot of turnovers,” said Northport head coach Carol Rose. “I know they are tired, this is our fourth game this week but they showed a lot of heart. They persevered and never gave up.
“I told them to take risks, be a hero and go to the goal and they did it. I’m really proud of them. We are really excited to be invited to participate in this fundraiser. Gains for Brains is a great cause. All the kids donated and they were really excited to be here.”
Julianne Johnston, Kaitlyn Wandelt and Mackenzie Burns tallied two goals apiece for Sayville.
“My girls played great and then at the end Northport just took the game over and ended up winning it,” said Sayville head coach Adam Sznitken. “We have to learn from this. I was excited as soon as I found out Andrew was doing something. I emailed him right away and asked to get in.
“This is a great experience. Loosing stinks but you look around at this; he has 12 great teams here. We are doing this for a great cause and I was happy to be a part of it.”
Northport 8, Sayville 7
N: Natalie Langella 2G; Gabbi Labuskes 2G; Emily Yoo 1G; Victoria D’Amato 1G; Noelle Peragine 1G; Ryan Columbus 1G; Heather Engellis 1A
S: Julianne Johnston 2G; Kaitlyn Wandelt 2G; Mackenzie Burns 2G; Kelly Mara 1G, 2A
Saves: Claire Morris (N) 10; Kristen Brunoforte (N) 2; Molly Andrews (S) 3