No matter what happens in the Nassau Class C quarterfinals Monday night against Long Island powerhouse Manhasset, the Lynbrook girls’ lacrosse team has done excellent work.
After logging an unbeaten 9-0 Conference 2 record, Lynbrook won its first-round playoff in a 19-11 runaway against Mineola May 18, giving the Owls their 12th straight victory. Host Lynbrook shot out to a 5-0 lead after four minutes and was never threatened.
“We spoke about coming out fast,’’ coach Vincent Tetro said. “We wanted to jump out on top of them early.’’
It was a fitting performance after a pregame ceremony honoring the 20th season for Tetro — all playoff berths. The pomp and circumstance featured school-colored green-and-gold balloons—and a cardboard cutout of his face around the grounds.
Senior attacker Mimi Berkowitz and Sara Curley each scored 4 goals. Kaelynn O’Brien had 3 goals and Caityblue Cavassa scored 2 goals. In all, 10 players scored. Curley, headed to Monmouth for lacrosse, had 5 assists to boot.
“For us seniors, it’s the last time we’ll ever play on that field,’’ Berkowitz said of the Mineola victory. “The whole day was really big for us, excited to get going into the playoff season. We knew we needed big energy to secure the win.’’
The future is now for the sixth-seeded Lynbrook, which boasts 13 seniors and hasn’t lost since April 1 vs. Syosset. But now it gets tougher. Manhasset ended Lynbrook’s season in the Nassau County quarterfinals last season and looks as formidable as ever as the third seed.
“We need to stay confident,’’’ Berkowitz said. “Manhasset has always been a big name in lacrosse on Long Island. We can’t let ourselves be intimidated by that.”
In last season’s quarterfinal, Manhasset led 7-4 at halftime when lighting postponed the game until the next morning. Manhasset came back on fire and posted the easy win.
“We worked so hard to get where we are today and accomplished everything we set out to do in terms of unbeaten conference record,’’ Berkowitz said. “We need to stay big and energetic and go out and do what we do.’’
Manhasset’s star player is Caitlin Barrett, who is headed to Duke.
“We’re looking to go back there and hopefully get some revenge,’’ Tetro said. “The draws, defensive stops and clearing the ball - that’s the three things we have to focus on the most. Our offense has been lights out all year. Offense will be fine.’’
Lynbrook’s faceoff chieftain is Cavassa, a midfielder who may need to be sound defense on Barrett.
But her first goal is winning draws – like she did all over the place against Mineola early on, setting the tone for the blowout win.
The offensive numbers have been staggering with five players notching at least 3 points. Curley leads the club in points with 75 (43 goals, 32 assists). Berkowitz has 38 goals and 14 assists.
“(Mimi) has a knack for scoring,’’ Tetro said. “A prototypical attacker, She loves getting to the cage and is strong finisher.
Three others also made a dent. O’Brien has 26 goals and 11 assists, Brooke Mazzei i37 and 8 and Cavassa 17 and 20.
The scoring depth and more consistent play from goalkeeper Mary Costello, a junior, has made Lynbrook more dangerous than last season’s squad.
“I think in terms of chemistry and playing together we created such a bond and know where each other will be on the field and how each other plays,’’ Berkowitz said. “We’re excited to be in this game and get a little bit of a rematch. We really have something to prove.’’
They’ve proven plenty already.
“It’s a tough conference,’’ Tetro said. “Any given team can beat anyone on a given day. I’m really proud to go undefeated in conference. The game plans worked. It’s a talented team but talent has to perform. They did all year.’’