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Speziale scores four to lead West Islip girls

Posted Tuesday, June 02, 2009 by Newsday Sports

Speziale scores four to lead West Islip girls

The smile on Chiara Speziale's face turned sheepish when she realized what now lies ahead.

Punching a ticket to the first county final in West Islip girls lacrosse history induced plenty of revelry, from the large crowd counting down the final seconds to the players on the sideline throwing their sticks in the air before running on the field for a postgame pile-on.

So when Speziale finally came down from the high of the No. 2 Lions' 11-7 victory over No. 3 Bay Shore Monday -- in what was the seniors' last game on their home field -- the reality of facing undefeated Northport tomorrow for the Class A title set in.

"Our goal was to make the counties," said Speziale, who scored four goals with two assists yesterday. "Northport is a great team. We just have to come out strong in both halves and play our game."

The Lions (16-3) certainly did that yesterday against Bay Shore. The Marauders (averaging more than 14 goals per game) were held to just two goals in the first half - a free-position score by Jessica Cohen at the 6:54 mark, and Shelby Vaccaro's bounce shot off an assist from Gabrielle Wiegand with 18 seconds left before the break, to make the score 7-2.

"Our [defensive] wings played awesome," said West Islip coach Joe Nicolosi. "Salliebeth [Finnegan] did a great job in goal and we took quality shots."

And they held Wiegand, who eclipsed the 100-goal mark for the season last week, to just one goal and two assists. "That's going to happen sometimes," said Bay Shore coach John Pfeffer. "Our problem is that we put ourselves into too deep of a hole and we had to change our gameplan."

Bay Shore (14-5) closed the lead to 7-5 with three straight goals to start the second half, but Casey McGowan scored on a feed from Sara Sangiorgio (five assists) to squash the rally. Cassie Campasano (four goals) scored just over 6:00 later to make it 9-5. Said Nicolosi: "I'm glad we're playing Northport. Our girls have got to rise to the occasion."

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