No one on Long Island has bigger shoes to fill this season than Farmingdale’s Alex Gurecki. The junior goalie takes over for two-time All-American Lauren Maksym, the top-ranked goalie in the class of 2010 and Newsday’s 2010 Long Island Player of the Year.

With Maksym, now at North Carolina, and the entire starting defense, including captain second-team All-Long Island selection Tara Coyle, graduated the defending Class A state champion Dalers expect to lean on their offense this year.  Most of the starting offense returns.

But through the first few games the defense has looked capable.

“[Gorecki]’s really one of the one’s we’re concentrating on,” said Farmingdale coach Shari Campbell.  “She’s making the girls in front of her feel comfortable.”

In front of her is an all-new defense highlighted by converted midfielder Maegan Meritz.

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“They’re very intelligent players,” Campbell said. “They understand the concepts really well.”

Gurecki was called up from JV’s for last season’s playoff run but missed the run to the state title game with the swine full. Now fully healthy she’s ready to make an impact.

Farmingdale takes on local rival Massapequa in a rematch of the Class A county title on April 6 at Burns Park.