The last team in the playoffs for Port Washington this year wasn't the baseball team, or the boys' lacrosse team, or even the boys volleyball team. It was the girls' lacrosse team, led by retiring Coach Mr. Roger Winter. However, the girls failed to move on last Wednesday, ending a terrific season and losing by only a handful of goals to a great Garden City team. With fabulous play during the season, and great possession play as well, the team can hold their heads high with pride for the great effort they put out on the field.
The first playoff game occurred last Tuesday with a tough second round match up with a scrappy team from Freeport. Port came out with an early edge scoring on some spectacular play selection and great shots. With a large lead at half time, Port was led in the second half by Lindsey Levin and Lara Melniker who charged on the fast break on multiple occasions. The midfield was kept in tempo with Jackie Hehir who slowed down the pace and turned it up, when the time was right. The final score was 11-5 in favor of the Lady Vikings. The game was never in doubt as Port controlled the rhythm of the game and the passes that they made were crisp and right on target. The girls were happy for the outcome of the game, but they also knew that they had a huge obstacle ahead of them, in hopes for a Nassau County Championship.
The next game was last Wednesday against a very tough Garden City team. Renowned on Long Island as one of the premier lacrosse towns, the Lady Vikings had their work cut out for them. The game was played at C.W. Post College in Brookville Long Island. Wasting no time, the girls fed off some crowd noise and some extra adrenaline and took a quick 1-0 lead on a Lindsey Levin goal. While playing tough defense against a potent Garden City offense, the girls lost a little stamina and trailed at the end of the half by a score of 3-2. Garden City soon came with a smart game plan of pressuring the defense and this forced some messy turnovers. Those turnovers prove to be dreadful for the Lady Vikings as they lost control of the game, and gave up two goals. However, the girls weren't about to go down without a fight and fight they did. Led by graduating senior Lara Melniker off the fast break, the girls finally found the momentum that they were lacking. Deirdre O'Conner lit a big fire underneath the team as she had the sixth goal of the game and gave Port a stunning 6-5 lead with around nine minutes to go. However, this lead would just not hold up. The girls looked like they had used all of their energy to even make it that far, and sadly they quickly saw their small lead and their chances of a magical run to the Nassau Championship shatter. Four goals in a blink of the eye ended the great run by the Lady Vikings and sent them home for the summer.
The season definitely can't be looked upon as a waste, by any means. With All-County players such as Lindsey Levin and Lara Melniker graduating the upcoming player will need to step it up for next year. The defense, led by Lisa Vogeley, who is graduating as well, will need to revamp for the year ahead. However, young stars are emerging. Burgandy McCurty, who played very tight defense in the game against Garden City, and Emily Sorg, are two young players who achieved very well under the varsity team. "I think that we will be missing some really talented seniors and a great coach, but I think we'll do well," this quote from Sarah Weiss, freshmen who played exceptionally well this year, was very optimistic. Her sister Gabby Weiss will likely help lead the defense next year, and Halsey and Marla Diakow will give Port some much needed veteran perspective. Lindsey Levin said, "Our team was very hot at the end of the season." However, they just couldn't pull this one out. It was sadly Coach Winter's final game. However all was not lost, the girls played as hard as they could and what more could he ask for?