Cortney Fortunato scored the final goal of the 2011 girls lacrosse season. It was a rain-drenched night in Cortland – the tense final seconds of overtime – when Fortunato flicked in the game-winning shot that .
So it’s no surprise the junior midfield has picked up where she left off. Fortunato scored a school record-tying 10 goals and added two assists Wednesday as the Tigers ran past rival , 21-8, in a Suffolk Division I game.
Northport (3-1 overall) downed Smithtown West, 19-7, on Monday. Which means the Tigers have piled up 40 goals in the two games since a frustrating 11-8 loss to West Babylon on March 30.
“It was a wake up call for our team,” Fortunato said of the West Babylon game. “We realized the girls we lost from last year were impact players. That was a hard loss. But it’s definitely something we’d rather have happen at the beginning of the season. We can learn from it.”
Learn? You bet the Tigers did.
Commack (2-3) trailed 10-0 on Fortunato’s third goal of the half with 11:38 left. Junior Dorrien Van Dyke scored three of her four goals during that run too.
Then Commack found its footing, outscoring the Tigers 8-7 during one stretch. But the lead Fortunato and the Tigers built proved insurmountable. Northport dominated faceoffs, and a deliberate offense did the rest, turning possessions into points.
“We’re working on our consistency,” said Northport Coach , who shuffled her lineup more than once since the start of the season. “It’s definitely an improvement from a week ago.”
Northport senior goalie Michaela Aymong made 9 saves.
The Tigers don’t play again until April 10 at 11 a.m., a playoff rematch at Floyd. Commack plays at Longwood April 10 at 10 a.m.
Northport went 20-2 a year ago en route to the program’s first state title. The Tigers beat Pittsford, 11-10, in an overtime thriller for the state Class A championship on June 11.
Fortunato’s game-winner came with 1.3 seconds left, and in the process handed Pittsford its first loss of the season.
“You want to work to get back to that,” said Fortunato, who has already committed to Notre Dame. “That was my first time there. We’d been to Suffolk and Long Island championship games. But we’d never won [states] as a program before. Just knowing you’ve been there and having the privilege to come and do it again . . . you’re going to do whatever it takes to get there.”
The program had lost state title games in 1996 and ’98 before last summer’s clutch performance.
“The kids have to understand that they have to work that much harder,” Rose said. “They have a big bulls eye on their back.”
Fortunato’s record-tying day (she has 20 goals on the season) puts her in the same conversation with other past Northport greats, most recently Shannon Gilroy and Jill Byers.
“I didn’t put the leash on her today,” Rose said.
Commack was led by junior midfield Melissa Lobocarro with three goals.
Note: Check back Thursday for a girls lacrosse photo gallery.