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May 22, 2018 10:41 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Schleicher's Goal In Triple Overtime Sends Westhampton Beach Girls Lacrosse To Its First Ever County Championship

Westhampton Beach freshman Giana Murphy looks for a teammate to pass to. DREW BUDD
May 23, 2018 10:49 AM

Welcome to The Beach, Hollie Schleicher.

In her first season since transferring from the Sag Harbor School District to Westhampton Beach, Schleicher firmly planted herself in the history books on Tuesday afternoon when her goal with 56 seconds remaining in triple overtime gave the Lady Hurricanes lacrosse team a 10-9 victory at Bayport/Blue Point—marking the first time in program history that the team will appear in a county championship game.

Westhampton Beach, the third seed, will face top-seeded Mount Sinai for the Suffolk County Class C Championship on Thursday, May 31, at 3 p.m. at Hauppauge High School. It will be a rematch of last year’s Class B semifinal, won by Mt. Sinai, which defeated No. 5 Rocky Point in the other semifinal on Tuesday to advance.

Westhampton Beach led Bayport, 7-2, at halftime, but the Lady Phantoms were able to reverse that tally in the second half. Cassidy Weeks, who scored four goals, tied the game at 9-9 for Bayport off a free possession shot with seven seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

The Lady Canes survived a bit of a scare in the waning seconds of the first three-minutes, sudden-victory overtime, when a Bayport player appeared to score, but the goal was waved off because she took the shot in the goalie’s circle. The Lady Canes won the ensuing face-off for the second overtime but weren’t able to get a shot off, so the two teams went to a third overtime period.

Bayport won the face-off and had the ball in its offensive end, but the ball was knocked loose in front of the Westhampton Beach goal, and junior Lindsay Rongo picked up the ground ball and was able to get it across midfield with about two minutes left.

With time winding down, senior Hailey Daleo (four goals) saw a small opening for Schleicher, passed her the ball, and the junior found the back of the net for the game-winning score, her third goal of the game.

“The feeling is amazing,” Schleicher said of scoring the game-winner. “I couldn’t even imagine this happening. I’m just so grateful that I got this opportunity. I can only thank my teammates and my coaches and my friends and family for supporting us all the way through the season.”

Schleicher added that once Rongo got the big turnover, she felt as if the time to strike was in that third overtime. And Daleo’s pass was right on the money.

“She’ll feed you when you’re open by a thread, and I saw I had one opening—I had one shot, catch and shoot—and that’s what I’ve been working on with coach [Mary Bergmann] all season,” Schleicher said.

While Schleicher is new to the district, she is no stranger to her teammates. Sophomore Isabelle Smith, who also scored three goals on Tuesday, is her younger cousin, and Schleicher played travel lacrosse in Westhampton Beach with many of her current teammates since there wasn’t a travel team back home in Sag Harbor when she attended Pierson. The rapport she has with Daleo allowed the game-winning score to happen.

“Since going back to PAL, I know when Belle and Hollie, everyone I played with, is a little bit open, I can thread the needle,” Daleo said. “[Hollie] never misses, she rarely misses, and all season it’s been a thing: I have Hollie always coming on the second cut, so every single time I look for her, and she’s always there, she’s always open, always has her stick up, and she just finished it really well.”

Westhampton Beach head coach Mary Bergmann said Schleicher has certainly been a great addition to the team.

“I don’t think we would have necessarily gotten to this point without her being on the team,” she said. “But we have a great team. Everybody is just doing what they’re supposed to do at this point. They executed the plan perfectly today to what we’ve been working on, and we’ve got a week and a few days to get ready for a county championship.”

Getting to the county championship has been a goal dating back a few seasons now and Daleo, one of seven seniors on the team, said she had a feeling this year would be it.

“We’ve never done something like this before. The furthest we’ve gone, we lost in semis,” she said. “It feels good to do it with this group of people because I always knew, I had a feeling about this group.”

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