The Hauppauge girls lacrosse team has been unstoppable this spring, undefeated with a 16-0 winning streak, and despite briefly faltering, nothing could keep the team from winning their first Suffolk County title.
The top-seeded Lady Eagles won the Suffolk County Class B Championship, beating the No. 3 Shoreham-Wading 8-5 at Dowling College's Sports Complex on Thursday evening. It's the first county title in the Hauppauge girls lacrosse program's 10-year history.
"It's awesome. I couldn't ask for anything more," said Jennifer Porretto, a senior captain who scored one goal and made one assist. "We knew Shoreham-Wading River was going to be a tough game... We had to come out at 100 percent."
Hauppauge will play Garden City (18-0), Nassau's Class B Champion, on Saturday in the Long Island Regional Tournament at Hofstra University at 4 p.m.
Hauppauge's junior goalkeeper Kasey Kephart took to the net for the first time in the post season and stepped up by making 12 saves, keeping the Lady Eagle's championship dreams alive.
"Kasey stepped it up in practice and she proved herself today in a big way," said Hauppauge's head coach Abigail Zeltmann.
Junior attacker Jenna Vinci put Hauppauge on the scoreboard first, finding net on a pass from Porretto five minutes into the game. Vinci rallied to score three early goals for a hat trick, giving the Lady Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Shoreham-Wading River wasn't going home without a fight. Attacker Chelsea Delia scored a goal for the Lady Wildcats, quickly followed by a second from Shannon Rosati that shifted momentum behind Shoreham-Wading River.
The Lady Wildcats came out strong in second half, tying the score at 5 with 19 minutes remaining.
"We had a lapse in the basics. We took a break," Zeltmann said. "In any game like this, where there are two solid teams playing each other they'll capitalized on each other's mistakes. That's what [Shoreham] did."
A quick timeout pulled the Lady Eagles together, as the team returned to the field and shutout Shoreham-Wading River for the rest of the second half.
Taylor Ranftle regained Hauppauge the lead, 6-5, scoring on a foul, starting a rally as goals scored by Porretto and Lauren Descalzo sealed the Lady Eagle's 8-5 win.
Looking forward to Saturday's game, Zeltman said victory over Garden City would take "lots of hard work."