Brooklyn Tech appeared to have enough momentum to pull off a comeback in the second half of the championship game, but three-straight Curtis goal quickly dashed those hopes.
The third-seeded Engineers never recovered and fell 9–6 to No. 2 Curtis in the Public School Athletic League girls’ lacrosse final at Aviator Sports Complex on May 17. Brooklyn Tech, which won the Class B crown last season, was making its first appearance in the top-tier title game.
“I feel we started gaining control and confidence in the second half, but we were too far behind to make a dent in their lead,” said Brooklyn Tech coach Anthony Cicolini.
The three consecutive goals to start the second half increased the Warriors’ lead to 9–4. The Engineers (16–1) came back with back-to-back goals from Polina Safovich and Breanna Flynn to make it 9–6, but that was as close as it were going to get.
“I think we were just very shocked,” said Flynn of the three Curtis goals. “We knew we needed to get it back. So we opened up the opportunities on one-on-ones hoping we can make something happen.”
Curtis also got three goals to open up the first half, and just like in the second, it took some of the momentum away from the Engineers.
“First half, we came out a little stale,” Cicolini said. “It took us about 15 minutes to get into it. They were very aggressive, they wanted it — they had more passion. They came up stronger.”
Brooklyn Tech, which beat Curtis in an preseason game, answered back with two man-up goals from Flynn to cut the Warriors’ lead to 3–2. Danielle O’Gara, who had three goals, came right back and made it 4–2 in favor of Curtis. Flynn scored her third goal of the half to make it 4–3. Cicolini has seen Flynn change games like that all season.
“Breanna is just key in every game,” he said. “She can change it in a heartbeat. She is very strong all over the field. That play really gave us confidence that we could come back.”
Curtis (17–2) and Brooklyn Tech would trade goals again and with the score 5–4. Lule Karuzi increased the Warriors lead to 6–4 with 22 seconds left in the half.
The goal started the swing of momentum.
“We needed to pick each other up,” Flynn said. “So we tried as hard as possible to lift people’s spirits. We looked like we were losing, you can tell in our face.”
Curtis didn’t let Brooklyn Tech regain its footing after that.
“We always call ourselves a second-half team,” Cicolini said. “We try and see what’s going on in the first half with the other team, and make our adjustments in the second half. We fell a little short.”