When the West Islip girls’ lacrosse team took a 6-2 lead to the half on Friday, it appeared the Lions had their first round playoff game against William Floyd under control.
But despite strong play by Floyd’s netminder Chelsey Sidaras (13 saves) and some sloppy second half play by the Lions, West Islip was able to walk away with a tight 9-8 win on Friday. Next up, the No. 6 Lions will travel to face No. 3 West Babylon Monday at 4 p.m.
“In the first half we came out shooting but their goalie made saves,” said Joe Nicolosi, West Islip’s head coach. “In the second half we got a little sloppy in the middle of the field. I’m just glad time ran out.”
West Islip started strong in the first half and less than a minute into the game Lorraine Hodgson gave the Lions a quick 1-0. Following a goal by Erin Byrnes to put West Islip ahead 2-0, William Floyd responded with about 15 minutes left to cut the lead to 2-1.
Nicolosi quickly called timeout and when play resumed, the Lions scored four consecutive goals to take a 6-1 lead.
But the second half was a much different story.
After the teams exchanged goals to put the score at 7-3, Floyd continue to peck away at West Islip and eventually cut the lead to 8-6 with 3:16 remaining in the second half.
With 1:55 remaining, Kylie Nowicki scored to put the Lions ahead by three, which would prove to be a huge goal for West Islip. Floyd continued to work and scored twice within the final minute of regulation to put the score at 9-8.
But West Islip was able to gain a control of the draw and run out the clock.
A big factor in the game was the play of Lions’ goaltender Ruthann Dooling, who finished the game with nine saves.
“She had a solid game,” Nicolosi said. “If it wasn’t for her the game would have been different.”
Looking ahead to West Babylon, Nicolosi said, “We have to come out and play our game. I feel like we can run with them. Even though we lost to them 17-14 earlier, the playoffs are a whole different season.”Teams 1 2 F William Floyd 2 6 8 West Islip 6 3 9