Field hockey preview: Suffolk County

Sachem East's Katie Trombetta protects the ball from Sachem East's Katie Trombetta protects the ball from a Massapequa defender in the Long Island Class A field hockey championship. (Nov. 12, 2011) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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SUFFOLK

CLASS A

Sachem East, the defending state champ, returns All-American midfielder Katie Trombetta and her sister, Cara, along with star goalie Jordan Miller and standouts Karyn Ryan, Stephanie Bagley, Katie Doherty and Kayla McKeveny.

Ward Melville, winner of four straight previous Long Island titles, lost in last season's Suffolk final and graduated three key players. The Patriots do, however, return a talented group headlined by Kelsey Catalano (21 points), Liz Conley, Emma Holland, Mary Brigid Coughlan and goalie Andre Bongiorno.

Smithtown East lost to rival Ward Melville in double-overtime of a Suffolk semifinal. The Bulls graduated superstar Megan Rooney, but it is always a contender and features Samantha Nizich, Mackenzie Buckley, Shannon Rooney and goalie Ericka Parks.

Bay Shore reached the semifinals as a young team and returns 15 players. The Marauders are led by Kyra Harney, Jacqueline Ulrich and Liz Athing (each scored 19 points), along with Allie Dolder and Courtney Syrett.

Northport lost 10 seniors and enters a rebuilding year, "but we'll still be competitive," coach Gina Walling said. The Tigers are led by junior midfielder Lexi Richards, Erin O'Brien, Margie Gardiner and promising eighth-grade forward Natalie Langella.

East Islip again will contend and boasts a forward line featuring Alexa Martino, Courtney Bernardini and Nicole Levy. Kendall Allmendinger anchors the defense.

Lindenhurst, with Randi Zorn, Missy Della Rocca, Lauren Darby and sweeper Jess Sholl, will be in the mix. Comsewogue, led by Karie Znaniecki and Erin Dougherty, and Whitman, with Christina McFelia and Lauren Kobel, will compete.

CLASS B

Sayville graduated Suffolk player of the year Olivia Cabral but returns a loaded roster led by All-Long Islander Taylor Mills (25 points). Claire Luceri, Olivia Russell, Jackie Coffy, Maddie Mills, Zoe Norton, Jackie Ryder and goalie Gianna Minogue bolster a potent lineup. Expectations are high for the Golden Flashes after winning their first Suffolk title since 2006.

Rocky Point, which reached its first county final, returns All-Long Island midfielder Kristine Loscalzo, Deidre Curry, Maggie DeFrank and Ashley Faulhaber. Health will be a factor for the Eagles, who have six starters returning from injury, including star forward Alyssa Milano (ACL surgery).

Miller Place upset rival Shoreham-Wading River to reach a semifinal last season and returns most of its core. The title contenders are led by All-Long Island midfielder Heather Ercolano along with Allie Krumholz, Tiana Parrella, Emily Mott and defender Maggie Revera.

Shoreham-Wading River begins a transitional phase after losing two All-Long Islanders to graduation and longtime coach Lea Caligeros to retirement. First-year coach J.M. Jackson takes over and the Wildcats will rely on a strong defense led by Christina Malave, Lauren Lustgarten and Kim Pflumm and goalie Kendall Conway. Amanda DeGennaro and Alyssa Pearce spark the offense. Lacrosse stars Clare Blomberg and Alex Fehmel have joined the team.

Harborfields, a semifinalist, is led by forward Katie DeNicola, along with Gigi Santomauro and Isabelle Wechsler. Greenport- Southold-Shelter Island reached the playoffs in a breakout season, but graduated 11 and has a new coach in Rebecca Lillis-Cartselos. It's a young team led by Sarah Tuthill, Dani Freeman and Wendy Peterson.

 

CLASS C

Babylon, in its first playoff appearance since 1997, captured the Suffolk championship. The Panthers lost 12 seniors, though. They're led by star midfielder Kerry Glenday, Miranda Richards, Michelle Mangini and Allison Buser.

Pierson-Bridgehampton is seeking a return to its 2010 state finalist form. The Whalers are led by all-state midfielder Kasey Gilbride along with Rachel Saidman, India Hemby and defenders Katherine Matthers and Kirra McGowin.

An enrollment dip shifts Southampton, a Class B playoff team last season, to "C". The Mariners are young with 12 underclassmen, but have strong returners, including Emily Wesnofske, Meggie Gallo, Keeling Pilaro, Jessa Laspessa, Andrea Abbate and Rienna Russo.

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