Wantagh edges South Side in thrilling semifinal


Wantagh brought a considerable experience advantage as well as a seven-goal, regular-season win over South Side into what proved to be a thrilling Nassau Class C girls’ lacrosse semifinal matchup.

The second half featured four deadlocks, with Wantagh’s Sienna Diglio providing the final tiebreaking goal. The senior midfielder converted a pass from junior Riley Forthofer with 1:12 remaining in regulation to give the second-seeded Warriors an 11-10 victory Wednesday afternoon at Adelphi University’s Motamed Field.

“It felt amazing to score the winning goal but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” said Diglio, who had four goals and two assists as Wantagh advanced to face top-seeded Manhasset in the county title game. “It took a total team effort to win and we’re excited to be in the finals,” she added.

Sophomore Sabrina Asadurian added a hat trick, junior Juliana Cerasi scored twice and senior goaltender Amanda Coppola made 11 saves for the Warriors (11-4), who defeated Lynbrook, 6-3, in the quarterfinals.

“My heart could barely take it,” Wantagh coach Lauren Ruppert said. “That was one of the most intense games I’ve been a part of. Both teams played awesome and weren’t going down without a fight.”

Senior Caitlin Haggery was nothing short of spectacular with six goals for the third-seeded Cyclones (9-7), who also got a pair from juniors Sienna Connolly and Anna Chimienti.

“Our girls have come a really long way since the first Wantagh game and did everything we asked them to do today,” South Side coach Rob Devlin said. “They did such a tremendous job and left it all on the field.”  

The University of Vermont-bound Haggerty was front-and-center in the Cyclones’ rally from an early 4-1 deficit. She scored with less than a second remaining in the opening quarter and twice early in the second quarter to produce the game’s first of five stalemates.

“They chose to lock off Charlotte [Rathjen] and Caitlin was unstoppable,” Devlin said. “All of the girls played their hearts out.”

Diglio and junior Isabella Sandoval scored late in the second quarter and Wantagh held a 6-4 halftime lead.

Playing behind a defense led by senior Morgan Harloff, sophomore goalie Tara Cody made a handful of point-blank saves to keep South Side within striking distance.

“We knew this was going to be a much tougher game than when we beat them early in the season on a cold, rainy day,” Ruppert said of Wantagh’s 13-6 win April 2. “Today was just back-and-forth.”

Haggerty scored twice in the third quarter to knot the game at 8. Connolly’s goal 1:49 into the fourth gave the Cyclones their first lead, and they led again, 10-9, thanks to a Chimienti goal with 4:10 to go. Asadurian re-tied it with 2:30 left.

“We just kept our composure and kept working,” Diglio said.

The Warriors return to Adelphi next Wednesday at 6 p.m. looking to avenge a 12-11 loss to Manhasset April 7 and capture their first county championship since 2015.

 “We walked away from that Manhasset game with no regrets because we played great,” Ruppert said. “We’re excited for a rematch.”