By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg
LILacrosse.com, Posted 4/19/15
Nikki Ortega reached a major milestone and Middle Country (N.Y.) continued its torrid start by topping Wilton (CT), 15-5, today in the Gains for Brains Lacrosse Showcase at Cold Spring Harbor.
Ortega, a Notre Dame signee and USA U19 member, collected three goals and four assists to reach the 500-point plateau in her brilliant career. She has 505 points overall (296 goals, 209 assists), 36 goals and 41 assists this season alone for the Wolverines (10-0).
“I’ll always remember this game,” said Ortega. “This is really a memorable game especially for us. To win by this big a margin is a huge confidence builder.
“This feels amazing, getting to 500 is something I thought I would never accomplish. To accomplish it with my sister (Jamie) and this amazing group of girls that I’ve grown up with, it really means a lot. It means more than just stats to me.”
Ortega said it was especially sweet to see her team play so well on a day when lacrosse was on show for a great cause. The event – which featured six games involving top teams from the East Coast raised money for the Making Headway Foundation, which benefits kids with brain or spinal cord tumors.
“I think this is an incredible thing that they are doing here,” said Ortega. “This is really important and significant. I’m proud to be here with amazing teams.”
Wilton, the defending Connecticut Class M (mid-sized) state champion, fell to 2-3 with its third straight loss.
Middle Country jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the 11:52 mark of the first half and led, 7-2, at halftime. Jamie Ortega, Nikki’s sophomore sister, tallied four goals and one assist, Ava Barry tallied three goals and one assist and Amanda Masullo tallied two goals and three assists for Middle Country.
“We didn’t really know about Wilton except that they won States last year,” said Jamie Ortega, a North Carolina commit. “Coming into this game we had so much energy and came out strong.
The Wolverines have established themselves as a legitimate contender at the Class A level in Suffolk County and beyond.
“Coming together and helping each other out helped us get this win,” said Jamie Ortega. “A couple of years ago no one really knew about Middle Country lacrosse and now look at us we are a number one seed. It is such a big accomplishment.”
“This is our fourth game of the week and it was another tough one,” said Middle Country head coach Lindsay Dolson. “We were out for a grind today and I think they did a great job keeping their stamina up in the hot weather.
“I’m really proud of them. This is a great opportunity, this is a great cause we are playing for and raising money for so we are happy to do that.”
Laine Parsons tallied two goals and Sara Dickinson tallied two assists for Wilton.
“We are really excited to be a part of this,” said Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran. “It is an organization that hits really close to home for us.
“One of the little brothers of one of our captains is receiving treatment. We have benefited from the Making Headway Foundation. So this is really important to us to be a part of it. We are just really proud.”
Middle Country 15, Wilton 5
MC: Jamie Ortega 4G, 1A; Nikki Ortega 3G, 4A; Ava Barry 3G, 1A; Amanda Masullo 2G, 3A; Alison Dipaola 1G, 1A; Rachel Masullo 1G; Sophie Alois 1G
W: Laine Parsons 2G; Cecily Freliech 1G; Sydney Brant 1G; Zoe Lash 1G; Sara Dickinson 2A; Makenna Pearsall 1A
Saves: Ashley Miller (MC) 8; Olivia Phelan (W) 5
Tags: Middle Country