Lady Dolphins Win PSAL Girls Lacrosse Title
Idalia Viard couldn’t believe she was participating in a wild back and forth affair against Tottenville in the PSAL championship game on Saturday afternoon at the Aviator Complex lacrosse field. When Beach Channel/Channel View teammate Tolagbe Olatubosun scored the goal to tie the game at 11 with 1:32 remaining, Viard had a feeling the Lady Dolphins were on the verge of completing another comeback.
“After we tied it, we were like this is ours now, Viard said. “We got to have it. We got to make it happen.”
The senior made things happen. After receiving pass from teammate Whitney Brown, Viard spun around past two Tottenvile defenders and with 34 seconds remaining, finished her move with a backhanded goal. The winning tally would give the Lady Dolphins a 12-11 win and their second straight PSAL title.
Beach Channel had scrambled back from early deficits of 4-0, and 9-6 before tying the game. They were down 11-9 on Saturday before pulling off another déjà vu moment, scoring three goals in the last 2:22 to win.
Beach Channel pulled off the same comeback feat against the Lady Pirates in 2009, down 5-4 late in the second half to win their first title 6-5.
“It takes our girls a little while to get that fire,” said Dolphins coach Sam Innes. “We fight best; we play hardest when our backs are against the wall. It’s happened all season,” Innes said.
Tottenville had ended late Beach Channel comebacks to win twice against their peninsula rivals in the regular season.
“Last time, it came a little too late. This time we found a way to make it happen,” Innes said.” We made some big plays.”
The move that galvanized Beach Channel was moving junior Whitney Brown from defense to forward after falling down 4-0 in the first half. Her energy and toughness inspired her team as she scored a team high four goals.
“I just tried to keep them together and tell them we could do it,” Brown said. “We always believe in each other.”
The team’s top seniors did their job in what was a frenetic final minutes.
Cynithia Smalls, a senior who was just awarded the PSAL Wingate award as the best girls’ lacrosse player in the city, scored her third goal with 2:22 left to cut the Pirates lead at 11-10.
Olatunbosun and Viard then followed with their goals to cap off an emotional day for Beach Channel.
Smalls says the team has developed a mental toughness and a never say die attitude that has catapulted them as the top girls team in the city. Last Saturday was just the finishing touch and a great graduation present.
“This is like my family. It’s just we want it so bad. We’re very strong mentally. We know that we can make this happen,” Smalls said.
“It’s so amazing. It makes me so happy to be with such a competitive team. It feels so good.”