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Pearl River Lax Rallies To Upset Nyack In Playoffs

No. 9 seed Pearl River overcame a five-goal deficit in the second half to beat top-seeded Nyack, 16-15, in Saturday's Section 1 Class C quarterfinal game at McCalman Field in Nyack.

The Nyack girls lacrosse team had just scored its fourth unanswered goal to take a five-goal lead on Pearl River in their Section 1 Class C quarterfinal playoff matchup when Pirates' Coach Laurie Mayernik called a timeout.

“I told them I’m not ready for the season to end and I don’t think they were either,” Mayernik said. “My seniors -- we call them the Fab Four because there’s four of them -- it was their dedication and their ability to get [the rest of the team] excited. They told them, ‘It’s not ready, it’s not time.’ And these girls just went out and played for them.”

Over the final 16:36 after the timeout, No. 9 Pearl River out-scored top-seeded Nyack by six goals to pull out the 16-15 win Saturday morning at McCalman Field in Nyack. It was a game of streaks for both teams, with Pearl River scoring the game’s first three goals and Nyack answering back with four unanswered and eventually taking an 8-5 lead into the half. Pearl River finished strong, however, scoring six of the game’s final seven goals.

“In the second half we just lost a lot of our speed and drive,” said Nyack Coach Kathryn Perrella. “I think we got a little comfortable when we were four goals up and they totally capitalized on us backing off.”

The game-winning goal came from one of Pearl River’s four seniors, Kaitlin Creagh, who scored with 1:56 to go to give the Pirates a 16-15 lead. On the play before the score, Creagh ran from behind the Nyack goal and cut over the middle, drawing contact and a penalty. She was awarded free position at the eight-meter mark.

“Every shot I took in eight-meter, I went for her top right, so I pretty much was thinking that,” Creagh said. “I was just like, ‘Just go for that and hope for the best,’ so I went for that corner.”

The goal was Creagh’s fourth of the game, and third in the second half alone.

“It was just that I was ending my season today or not,” she said. “I’m not playing in college, so this was the last time I’ll get to play ever.”

The four seniors -- Creagh, Allison Cook, Kiera McMullan and Brianna Relahan -- combined for 11 of Pearl River’s goals, with Cook scoring a game-high five and McMullan netting two. While the seniors led the scoring, it was two non-seniors who stepped up and scored two goals each in the second half: junior Caitlin Noonan and freshman Maggie Davin, who’s second goal tied the game at 15 with 3:56 to go.

Previously this year, Nyack won both regular season matchups , including an .

“When we play Nyack, it’s either a call, a foul or a goal one way or the other,” Mayernik said. “The matchup is just so identical that it can go either way, and we just happened to be on the winning end this week.”

Creagh added that beating Nyack makes the win even sweeter.

“We’re all friends with them, so we love beating them,” she said. We’re friends off the field, but when we get on the field it’s all competitive. It’s a fun game.”

For Nyack, Kate Fischer led the way with four goals, followed by Taylor O'Sullivan’s three. Jennifer Farrell scored two, as did Andie O'Sullivan, whose two goals give her 101 for her career.

The Pirates (12-7-1) advance to the sectional semifinals on Monday when they travel to face No. 4 Rye at a time to be determiend. Rye (11-5-2) defeated Bronxville, 14-9, Saturday.  

Pearl River is in pursuit of its second consecutive section championship. The Pirates won the first title in the program's history last year. 

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