2011 Top Sports Story No. 5: SWR’s run of state titles comes to an end

ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River's Marissa Kluber led the Wildcats to the Class B county title game in 2011.

Over four straight years from 2007-10, the Shoreham-Wading River girls lacrosse team was as dominant as any team in New York. The Wildcats won four straight Class C state championships, never losing more than three games in any season.

Coming into the 2011 season, the Wildcats were riding a 20-game playoff win streak.

But from the beginning, they knew the road to another state title wouldn’t be as easy. For starters, the Wildcats were bumping up a classification to Class B, pitting them against bigger and stronger teams. The Wildcats were also going through a coaching change after Bob Vlahakis left the program to take over a new St. Joseph’s College team. And the Wildcats were fielding a young team short on experience, which became even more apparent when two of the team’s top returners suffered season-ending injuries before the season even began.

Through it all, the Wildcats surpassed many people’s expectations with a thrilling run to the Class B county title game where they eventually lost a tough game to Hauppauge. En route to the finals the Wildcats knocked off a pair of higher seeded teams, Rocky Point and Sayville. Their win against the Eagles was an epic overtime game that saw the Wildcats give up a seven-goal lead late in the second half. They finally won 16-15 in the third overtime.

By the time the Wildcats met Hauppauge in the county finals, their playoff win streak was up to 22. But Hauppauge proved to be too strong defensively and stifled the Wildcats for an 8-5 victory.

And with it, a dynasty came to an end.