A Lynbrook resident and her IGLOO 2023 lacrosse team won the gold medal at the U.S. Lacrosse national championship in the 12 and under division in Richmond, Va. last month.
Emilia “Mimi” Berkowitz, 12, who is an honor role student at Lynbrook South Middle School and is going into seventh grade, had a strong tournament. U.S. Lacrosse serves as the biggest stage for youth lacrosse, with over 450,000 members nationwide and more than 68 chapters in 45 states. The tournament was likened to the Super Bowl of youth lacrosse.
“It was really amazing,” Mimi said. “I felt really accomplished. … Not only did I learn so much from that whole tournament, but my team just definitely learned more about working together.”
Mimi notched four assists and six points against the reigning champion Long Island Yellow Jackets in the semifinals. She picked up a helper on the game’s opening goal and scored the second and third tallies of the contest en route to a 9-4 victory. She was strong on both sides of the ball, winning ground ball battles and wreaking havoc on defense by causing turnovers. She also recorded an assist on the game-winning goal.
During the championship game against NXT 2023, a team from Pennsylvania, Mimi received a penalty shot after being fouled. Rather than shoot the ball, she elected to pass it to her teammate, who scored, earning Mimi an assist. She also was instrumental in helping to clear the ball throughout the game, and captured many ground balls. Her team overcame a 3-0 first-half deficit and went on to win, 7-3.
With the gold medal secured, the IGLOO 2023 team earned an automatic bid into next year’s 13 and under national championship, where they will defend their crown. The 2018 tournament is scheduled to take place from Aug. 2 through 5 in Delaware.
To celebrate the championship, the team gathered at one player’s house for a pool party, Mimi said. “This team is probably the best lacrosse experience I’ve ever had,” she added.