Garden City looks to rebound in Nassau field hockey
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The status quo almost held in Nassau: Friends Academy captured its eighth consecutive Class C title and Massapequa its fourth straight in Class A.
But it was the longest -- and most impressive -- streak that was snapped as Manhasset ended rival Garden City's run of 18 straight county championships, edging the Trojans, 1-0, in the Class B field hockey final.
"All good things must come to an end," Trojans coach Diane Chapman said, "but our goal is to take back that championship."
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For Manhasset, the target on its back is almost as rewarding as the crown on its head.
"That's the position you want to be in," coach Steve Sproul said, "but it also means we can't take anything for granted. Every game will be a challenge."
Maybe none more so than Wednesday's contest, when Garden City visits Manhasset for a rematch.
Manhasset graduated Nassau player of the year Maddy Molinari but still is a force with midfielders Emily Koufakis and Abby Kucharczyk, forward Julia Glynn, defender Alex Cirella and goalie Jensen Pollizzoto.
Garden City, which had won seven consecutive Long Island titles, are led by standout midfielders Tara DeAngelo and Michaela Bruno along with Kelly Tierney, Melanie McHugh, Brianne Griffith and Shannon Tierney.
Semifinalist Cold Spring Harbor will be among the elite with Bridgette Bouse, forward Haley Crosson, Danielle Rattotti and Shannon Logan. Locust Valley senior Preston Tansill, a year and a half removed from ACL surgery, is confident about a return to her 2011 form, when she was among LI's best scorers. Emily Schlicht, Lindsay Bleistein and Gaby DeAngelis bolster a solid roster.
Clarke lost only one starter from last year's playoff team and should contend with midfielder Natalie Morano, Jessica Gibaldi, goalie Amanda Gargiulo and her twin Angelica, a defender. Likewise, North Shore retained its core, including midfielders Carly Comitino, Maddy Conklin and Carlee Janelli, sweeper Meg Brennan and goalie Frankie Conklin. New Hyde Park, a Class A semifinalist last year, will be in the mix with goalie Rachel Kavanagh.
Massapequa has a "veteran" roster with 14 seniors and eight juniors. The Chiefs are led by Jamie Ahrens, midfielder Rachel Sieber, goalie Cassidy O'Brien and defenders Colleen Bourgal and Lauren Slattery.
Runner-up Port Washington is perhaps entering a rebuilding phase, but skilled forwards Carolyn Rybecky, Chelsea Nachamie and Jina Lay, and defender Olivia Mann should keep the Vikings in contention. Baldwin, a perennial playoff team, believes it has the talent to ascend with senior midfielders Sam Nelson and Caroline Roman along with forward Tori Wittemann and defender Emily German. East Meadow looks to rebound from a down season and will be in the mix, as will Sewanhaka with goalie Rebecca Gotterbarn.
Friends Academy will pursue a ninth straight Nassau title behind midfielder Emily Mara, forwards Chloe Friedman and Alexa Landow and goalie Charlotte Gelfand. Oyster Bay pushed the Quakers to double overtime in the county final last season and returns most of its core, including forward Hannah Kaiser, midfielder Halsey Quinn, defender Lindsay Sweet and goalie Anna Montick. Carle Place is young but has budding stars in goalie Lydia Rice and center-mid Shannon McGuinness.