2009-06-05 / Sports

Jubilant Lady Dolphins Win First PSAL Title

By Elio Velez

At Left: Lady Dolphins midfielder Tolagbe Olatunbosun (left) tries to get past the Tottenville defense. Photo by Peter Borriello. At Left: Lady Dolphins midfielder Tolagbe Olatunbosun (left) tries to get past the Tottenville defense. Photo by Peter Borriello. When Elizabeth Mina tried out for the Beach Channel/Channel View girls' lacrosse team in March, the senior wasn't certain of what position she wanted to play.

Lady Dolphins coach Sam Innes spoke to Mina and insisted she could do a good job taking on the goalkeeper duties.

Last Sunday afternoon, Mina completed her learning experience and used her skills to help out the Lady Dolphinsin the most stressful situation imaginable.

Answering the call to action, Mina turned away two Tottenville point blank shots in the final minute of the game as Beach Channel secured a narrow 6-5 victory for their first ever PSAL girls lacrosse championship.

Mina, who made 8 saves, looked a bit shellshocked at first, then joyful as she was mobbed by her teammates after the game.

With less than 30 seconds to play, Mina turned away a wrist shot by Jaclyn Fitzgibbons. A few seconds later, Mina kick saved Jillian Breyer's shot only a few yards away from her goal.

"I was thinking I better stop these or everyone is going to kill me," Mina said. "I don't know remember anything. I remember kicking it and everyone was screaming."

Beach Channel/Channel View (13-2) persevered this season when they needed to. They avenged their first loss of the season to Midwood and beat the Hornets in the PSAL semifinals.

On Sunday against Tottenville, Beach Channel's defense was a bit tighter, which was a problem when Tottenville routed BCHS/CV 15-7 in early May.

The Lady Dolphins also used their team speed to tire out the Lady Pirates by the end of the second half.

Down 5-4 in the second half, the team's leading scorer Cynithia Smalls stole a Tottenville pass by midfield. Smalls, who scored 41 goals in the regular season, then stormed downfield and scored her second goal to tie the game. Only 28 seconds later, Kiara Vanbrackle's wrist shot past goalkeeper Gina Haber gave the Lady Dolphins a 6-5 lead.

"Something in me was saying I don't want to lose. We couldn't lose now," Smalls said.

Beach Channel/Channel View made history as the girls finally broke a string of heartbreaking defeats the school has suffered in other championship games. According to Innes and a few players, Beach Channel hasn't won a title since the 1980's.

In this decade, the Beach Channel boys' baseball team made the PSAL B championship in 2004 before losing to Townsend Harris at Shea Stadium.

In 2005, the softball team lost in the PSAL B title game and in 2007, the boys' soccer team was defeated in the B championship by John Adams.

The victory not only lifted the title hex from the school but the Dolphins, who won in only their third year on varsity level, could be viable contenders to win the trophy in 2010.

"This is a benchmark," Innes said. "To come through in a big game like this with some big plays, it makes this more enjoyable."

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