Undefeated lacrosse team to play for state championship

Victories born out of ‘positivity’ of leaders


On Sunday, June 2, the Sayville varsity girls lacrosse team had a blowout win (12-4) against Wantagh for the Long Island Class C Championship. The first award in program history, head coach Gary Jensen and assistant coach, Courtney Weeks, have been lauded for the overhaul in approach.

“The senior leadership has been tremendous. They lead on the field and off the field,” said Jensen.

Senior Loghan McNamara, a defender, said her greatest strength was being able to “communicate and work well” with the defensive unit.

“In the Long Island Championship, we only had four goals against and were able to cause several turnovers, which gave our offense opportunities they were able to capitalize on,” said McNamara.

Jensen said the outstanding defense held opponents to “very few goals” while the offense was composed of “equally talented” players.

This synergistic effect of a humble offense, “with no individual superstars,” allowed the team to understand dodgers and feeders.

Senior Courtney Thornton, also a defender, said, “I think my greatest strength as a player is my lacrosse IQ. I know that when on low defense, it is hard to crash when a player is driving to net from up top, so instead I am ready to chase after the shot when it goes out of bounds to get the possession. I did this three times during the LIC game, which gave my offense three more opportunities to score and extend our lead.”

Positivity has been the greatest currency of the senior members of the team and Jensen has praised their support on the sidelines.

“The unwavering encouragement—you hear ‘great shot’ from the whole team. The leaders lead top-down and make the rest of the team comfortable,” said Jensen.

“I’m so grateful for this season and having the opportunity to play with my sister as well as playing under a new coaching staff. Our coaches have made a major difference in our program and we are always prepared for every situation. I’m so fortunate to play with a group of girls who want it as bad as I do, and I cannot wait for Friday. I hope to continue making program history this weekend,” said McNamara.

The season’s biggest rivalry was with next-door neighbor Bayport-Blue Point (where Jensen and Weeks have both lived) and came out on top of both meetings with last year’s state champions.

“BBP is a fantastic team,” said Jensen.

“I am focusing on soaking up every last minute of my senior season. My high school career will be coming to an end this weekend and it is so bittersweet. While I am sad to be leaving this amazing team next year, I am so grateful to have ended my high school career making history alongside my best friends and know that we have paved the way for big things to come in future generations of Sayville girls lacrosse,” said Thornton.


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