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May 2, 2018 12:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Levine's Save In Final Seconds Caps Emotional Victory For Hampton Bays Girls Lacrosse Over East Hampton

East Hampton's Grace Perello is covered by Hampton Bays senior Jen Andres. DREW BUDD
May 7, 2018 4:34 PM

There were plenty of reasons for the members of the Hampton Bays girls lacrosse team to be emotional after their 15-14 home victory over East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton on May 1.

It was, after all, the team’s third overall win of the season, which marks a program best, and it was a hard-fought victory at that, with the Lady Baymen (2-10 Division II, 3-11 overall, 48.99 power points) leading the Lady Bonackers (2-9 Division II, 2-10 Division II, 53.76) by no more than four goals throughout the game. It was also Senior Night, with eight of the team’s seniors, many of whom who have been with the program since its inception, honored before the game.

But it have may have been the game-winning save in the waning seconds by Hampton Bays senior Colette Levine that brought everything to an emotional tipping point.

After East Hampton tied the game at 14-14 with 45.5 seconds remaining in regulation, freshman Sierra Gaffney came from behind the net and scored to give Hampton Bays back the lead with 12.3 seconds left. The Lady Bonackers won the ensuing face-off and Elizabeth Bistrian raced the ball downfield and was awarded a free position shot with three seconds remaining.

With the game on the line, Levine stood tall in her goal and was able to deflect Bistrian’s shot off her chest, up and over the goal and out of bounds as time expired on the game clock. Hampton Bays head coach Teresa Strano became a bit emotional as the final ticks came off the clock, and the Lady Baymen raced onto the field to celebrate the win with their senior goalie. Many of the coaches and players had tears running down their faces.

“I think it’s definitely a combination of all of those things, but the fact that it is Senior Night and we’ve had most of these seniors since the inception of the program, I think it made it super emotional,” Strano explained. “It was definitely a battle so I was definitely nervous the whole time. I think that makes the win even more sweet.”

Levine explained after the game that she knew her coach and teammates would have her back no matter what, if she made the save at the end or not. It was more personal for her though.

“I knew I had to make the stop. I had the endgame right there, so I did it,” she said. “After five years, winning on Senior Night is just awesome. The work that I put in after the five years, it all made sense at the end.

“Coming out with the win is all I could ask for, for tonight,” Levine added.

Lucy Emptage proved to be a key force for East Hampton scoring six goals, but with about 15 minutes remaining in the game, she received her second yellow of the game, after being carded in the first half, and had to sit out the rest of the game. A number of Lady Bonackers did their best to try to compensate for Emptage’s absence—Bistrian finished with four goals—but it wasn’t enough.

The attack for Hampton Bays was led by freshman Cassidy Moore, who scored a career-high seven goals and assisted on two others, and senior Casi Radziul who scored three times and also had an assist. Gaffney and another freshman, Emma Naclerio, each scored two goals.

“The freshman share the wealth, for sure, and they look for each other at the midfield,” Strano said. “Steph Jimenez, a senior, and Casi Radziul, a senior as well, they had some get in the net, so definitely the love is shared.”

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