Cold Spring Harbor's Sophia DeRosa Delivers on Promise of Title


Brown-bound midfielder Sophia DeRosa put up 93 points (50 goals, 43 assists) in her senior spring to lead Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) to its first-ever state title and earn Brine/US Lacrosse Northeast Player of the Year honors.

Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) girls’ lacrosse coach Danielle Castellane vividly remembers the moment during preseason practice when Sophia DeRosa calmly looked over to her and declared, “We’re going to win it all this year.”

Castellane thought her senior star midfielder was crazy — this would likely be a rebuilding year after a 9-9 finish in 2017 and the program had never won a title before.

But DeRosa did everything in her power to make herself and her teammates better, and, in the end, DeRosa delivered the first-ever state title to Cold Spring Harbor. For this, and for many other reasons, DeRosa is the Brine/US Lacrosse High School Girls’ Northeast Player of the Year.

“She told me she thought this team was going to be better than any team we’ve ever had,” Castellane said. “I chuckled. Of course, I wanted to believe in her vision. But I’m like, we lost a big-time goalie (Abbey Ngai/Boston College), a top recruit (Kate Kotowski/North Carolina). We really had big shoes to fill. But she thought this team had the ability to make, and she was right.”

DeRosa finished the 2018 season with 50 goals and 43 assists. She led the Seahawks to a 19-2 record and the Class C state title, not to mention rankings of No. 2 in the Nike/US Lacrosse High School Girls’ Northeast Top 10 and No. 4 in the Nike/US Lacrosse High School Girls’ National Top 25.

Cold Spring Harbor claimed the championship with a stunning 18-3 win over Honeoye Falls-Lima (N.Y.).

“Basically every senior says that they want to get it done, but I knew this team was special,” DeRosa said. “[Castellane] might not have thought that we were going to, but as the season unfolded and we watched it happen, I couldn’t be more proud of everyone on my team.”

While everyone played their part, DeRosa did her best to play hero for the Seahawks this season.

She upped her defensive and offensive responsibilities and saw her production skyrocket coming off her junior season when she finished with 26 goals and 12 assists. DeRosa also became a focal point at the draw circle.

“I really love to compete there [in the draw circle],” said DeRosa, who described her game as “scrappy” and “fast-paced.”

She also learned to trust her teammates more. As a sophomore and junior, DeRosa said she would often drive to the cage and look to finish. This season with increased confidence, she opened her eyes and put her teammates in positions where they could succeed.

“If I’m driving to the goal and I see Caroline DeBellis with even half of her stick open, I’m confident in passing to her, because I know she’s such a great finisher,” DeRosa said. “Just having all these great players around me, it makes it so much easier. We all feed off how good everyone is.”

DeRosa was surrounded by some extremely talented players. DeBellis, a junior attacker who is committed to Duke, finished the season with 65 goals and 22 assists. Grace Tauckus, a junior midfielder who is headed to Princeton, added 40 goals and 11 assists.

But DeRosa had some monster games this season that cannot be overlooked, including a three-goal, nine-assist game against Plainedge (N.Y.) and a seven-goal, two-assist game against Saddle River (N.J.).

Perhaps most notable was a season-opening win against Manhasset (N.Y.), which rebounded to go undefeated the rest of the season and finished as the top-ranked team in the country. DeRosa tallied two goals in the Seahawks’ 10-8 win.

“She’s just a well-rounded human being and a great teammate,” CSH junior defender Sophia Taglich said. “She’s an optimist and always has a positive attitude. She’s an extremely outgoing person. She always tries to keep the mood light and help you recover from mistakes. She wants you to have a good mentality during a game. She’s really all about being funny, being in the moment, and having a good time.”

While peers like Taglich called DeRosa the “perfect teammate,” DeRosa is quick to credit Castellane, a former Farmingdale (N.Y.) and Hofstra University standout, for much of her success.

“She just gives me so much confidence,” DeRosa said. “If she’s saying it, we buy into it. What makes her such a good coach is how much she gets people to buy in.”

Castellane trumpeted the effort DeRosa exerted to grow and improve.

“She’s a tremendous person and leader — always leading by example and doing the right thing,” Castellane said. “She’s been a great player since her freshman year. But what she’s done from last season to this season, I’ve never seen a player put in that much work and time. She did everything in her power to make herself better.”

DeRosa is headed to Brown this fall and believes her confidence will continue to grow as she adapts to the challenges of playing in the Ivy League.

“In the past maybe I wasn’t as successful because I didn’t have the confidence,” she said. “Going into college, having a state championship and being picked for this award, it just really gives me a little faith in my play.”



School: Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)

Stats: 50 goals, 43 assists

Coach Danielle Castellane: “She’s a tremendous person and leader, always leading by example and doing the right thing. She’s been a great player since her freshman year. But what she’s done from last season to this season, I’ve never seen a player put in that much work and time. She did everything in her power to make herself better.”

Also considered: Olivia Penoyer, Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.); Meaghan Tyrrell, Mount Sinai (N.Y.); Morgan Cox, Penfield (N.Y.); Ashley Humphrey, Darien (Conn.); Kelly Trotta, Manhasset (N.Y.). 



1. Manhasset (N.Y.), 20-1

The Indians claimed the Class B state title with a 6-4 win over Brighton (N.Y.) on June 9. They finished the season on a 20-game winning streak after opening with a two-goal loss to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.). Kelly Trotta led Manhasset’s attack this year, finishing with 54 goals and seven assists.

2. Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.), 19-2

A year after going 9-9, the Seahawks claimed their first state title with an 18-3 win over Honeoye Falls-Lima (N.Y.) in the Class C final on June 9. Sophie DeRosa paced CSH with 50 goals and 43 assists this season and was named Northeast Girls’ Player of the Year. 

3. Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.), 18-3

The Brothers closed the season with 13 straight wins, beating Penfield (N.Y.) 10-5 to earn the Class A state championship on June 9. Olivia Penoyer (Virginia) capped a stellar career for the Brothers, finishing with 224 goals and 115 assists in five varsity seasons, including 73 goals and 22 assists as a senior.

4. Penfield (N.Y.), 16-6

The Patriots came on late in the season, winning 10 straight to claim the Section V Class A title, including knocking off previously unbeaten Pittsford (N.Y.) in the sectional semifinals. Penfield lost to CBA in the Class A state final on June 9 to finish as the runner-up. Junior Morgan Cox led the Patriots with 42 goals and 45 assists.

5. New Canaan (Conn.), 17-5

The Rams knocked off five-time state champion Darien (Conn.), 12-11, in the Class L state semifinals and then coasted in the championship game, defeating Ridgefield (Conn.) 17-5 on June 9. Braeden Dial powered the Rams in the postseason, finishing with 23 goals and 15 assists in four state playoff games.

6. Darien (Conn.), 19-3

After an impressive regular season that included top 25 wins over Ridgewood (N.J.) and Garden City (N.Y.), the Blue Wave saw their run of five straight state titles halted in the semifinals with a loss to New Canaan (Conn.) on June 5. It also snapped Darien’s run of 107 straight wins against in-state opponents. Darien’s three losses were all by one goal. 

7. Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.), 15-4

F-M’s season was highlighted by wins over West Genesee (twice) and Christian Brothers but the 2018 campaign came to an end with a 14-8 loss to top-ranked Manhasset (N.Y.) in the Class B state semifinals on June 8. Amanda Cramer (Northwestern) led the Hornets with 58 goals and 28 assists. 

8. Mount Sinai (N.Y.), 18-2

The Mustangs won the Suffolk County Class C title and then fell in the Long Island championship (state quarterfinals) by one goal to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) on June 3. Meaghan Tyrrell led the Mustangs with 59 goals and 38 assists this season. 

9. West Islip (N.Y.), 15-6

The Lions avenged regular-season losses to Massapequa (N.Y.), one-loss Northport (N.Y.) and Ward Melville (N.Y.) during an impressive run to the Class A state semifinals, but it ended there, as they dropped a 13-8 decision to eventual champion Christian Brothers Academy on June 8. Jaden Hampel le West Islip with 50 goals and 40 assists. 

10. Wellesley (Mass.), 23-3

After a mid-season three-game losing streak, the Raiders closed the year with 13 straight wins, including a 7-5 victory over Walpole (Mass.) in the Division 1 state final. They had lost in the sectional semifinals three straight years but broke through to win their first Division I South championship and rode the momentum to the title game.

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