Hewlett closes with overtime victory


As much as its season had been beforehand, the Hewlett girls’ lacrosse team endured a roller-coaster ride in its final game of the year May 9. One that came to a thrilling end when senior Catie Iannico scored the game-winning goal in overtime to help the Bulldogs defeat Glen Cove, 11-10.

“It was so much excitement,” Hewlett coach Jackie Hughes said. “Watching [the team], I didn't chase them because I physically couldn't move at that point. I don't think I've ever coached so much in one game in my life.”

Hewlett held an 8-5 lead entering halftime but ran into foul trouble late. In the second half, the Bulldogs were outscored by a margin of 5-2, which included a pair of goals they surrendered to Glen Cove with less than 30 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter, sending the game to sudden death.

“I thought some of the players were actually going to fall over while they were playing,” Hughes said. “That's how exhausted they were on both teams. There were tears during the overtime to finish the game. It was truly a roller coaster of emotions throughout the entire game.”

Senior Brianna Ruta found the back of the net five times for Hewlett in the win, raising her season total to 42.

“She’s come so far since her freshman year,” Hughes said of Ruta. “Back then, we had players who could do it all that didn’t necessarily need her support. Now, she’s kind of a force. In every huddle, you could basically see she was not going to lose this game. She and the other seniors were going to do everything in their power to make sure that they didn't lose.”

Despite the victory to cap off their season, the Bulldogs failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing the year with an overall record of 6-5. Still, Hewlett sent the likes of Ruta, Catie Iannico, her twin sister Marcie, as well as Kate Epstein, Lea Nagarayeva, Anie Fluerant, Aryn Feldman and Tella Tutino out with a game they’ll not soon forget and one that next year’s core will hold onto.

Freshman goalie Dani Kotlyar made eight saves against Glen Cove. After she joined Hewlett on an emergency basis at the beginning of the year, Kotlyar will return next season as a pivotal piece. So too, will fellow freshman Kristina O’Rourke and the team’s leading scorer from this season, Krista Lee.

“I'm confident that the program is going in a strong direction,” Hughes said. “I really think the future of the program is very, very bright. I'm very excited for their future.”

However, Hughes herself won’t be around next year to see Hewlett’s future, as she will be tending to her primary job of caring for her young family.

The decision to leave the program was not an easy one for Hughes. Although she knew long before, she did not tell the team of her departure until after the overtime victory. After she did, she knew she’d accomplished all she needed.

“They said such nice things and that I taught them more about life than I did about lacrosse, and that's always kind of what I set out to do,” Hughes said. “I think that's the most important thing. I prepared them for life.”