Sachem East and Miller Place chase field hockey history
For Sachem East and Miller Place, having established themselves as field hockey powerhouses, their chase now is history.
The Flaming Arrows seek a third consecutive state Class A championship, which would make them only the second Long Island team to accomplish that, matching the Centereach teams of 1981-1983. For Miller Place, a second straight L.I. Class B title would equal the accomplishment of its 2004-2005 teams, and a state championship would be the Panthers' first since 1993.
But Southampton, the defending L.I. Class C champ, begins a new chapter with star Keeling Pilaro and coach Kim Hannigan gone. Pilaro, who became the second boy to play varsity field hockey in Long Island, enrolled this summer at a Virginia boarding school after three seasons with Southampton, and Hannigan is coaching at Dowling.
FACEBOOK: Like us at facebook.com/NewsdayHSSports for videos, photos, stats and more.
Two-time defending state champion Sachem East returns a stacked roster led by Long Island Player of the Year Katie Trombetta. The Flaming Arrows also feature All-Long Islanders Cara Trombetta and Katie Doherty along with Katie Shanahan and defender Kyle Larkin.
Bay Shore retains most of its core after a breakthrough season that culminated in a trip to the county final. The Marauders are led by All-LI midfielder Kyra Harney, defender Haleigh Rock, forward Allie Dolder and middies Sam Flood and Elise Ambos.
Semifinalist Ward Melville has a loaded midfield that includes Kelsey Catalano, Sam Torrico and Katie Koester along with Sam Nemirov, Mary-Brigid Coughlan and Maggie Vachris. East Islip, a semifinalist, has Nicole Levy (20 points), along with center-midfielder Carlee Ancona and forwards Juliette Polis and Brianna DeMeo.
Smithtown East will contend with Sami Nizich, Kristina Freshour and, Lauren DeBetta. Commack is on the rise and will be dangerous with Jessica Lodato and Jill Parisi.
Northport, which had eight one-goal losses, looks to rebound with a senior-laden group led by Margaret Gardiner and Madison McNally. Playoff teams Lindenhurst (Brittany Anderson and Kayla Rhodes), Centereach and Riverhead (Maria Dillingham) will be competitive.
The Class B playoff bracket shrinking from eight teams to four adds intrigue to the regular season and, for the contenders, a greater sense of urgency.
Miller Place remains the favorite after a run to the state semifinals. The Panthers are led by midfielders Maggie Revera and Megan Gonzalez and forwards Ally Hutzler, Allie Krumholz and Lauren Anglim.
Rocky Point graduated eight starters after reaching a second straight county final, but still is solid with forwards Ashley Faulhaber and Maggie DeFrank and defender Reagan Lynch.
Sayville, a semifinalist a season ago, has speedy forward Zoe Norton, Olivia Russell, Justine O'Reilly, and goalie Annah Murphy. East Hampton, a burgeoning contender, returns several key players including Sophia Depasquale, Casey Waleko and Amanda Calabrese.
Harborfields, with defenders Nicole Damm and Caroline Saros and goalie Chandler Banks, will be a contender. Shoreham-Wading River is rebuilding, but the Wildcats are a perennial playoff team and should remain competitive.
Southampton reached the state final last year, but will have to overcome some significant changes. New coach Jessica Zukosky leads a group that features All-Long Islander Meggie Gallo, Shelby Pierson, Caroline Ricca and goalie Alex Ambrose.
Runner-up Pierson/Bridgehampton has the talent to make a state tournament run, as it did in 2010. They're led by All-Long Islander Kasey Gilbride (27 points), midfielder Katherine Matthers, Emme Luck and Kirra McGowin.