Northport girls soccer could be favorite
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Prediction: Every prediction made about Suffolk Class AA girls soccer will be wrong.
The overwhelming departure of marquee names has created increased unpredictability, parity and opportunity.
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Coming off its first county title in program history, Ward Melville fields a young but talented team led by midfielders Danielle Valente and Jen Balzan.
Commack returns a strong core that includes defender Kristen Brandman and midfielders Sarina Manetta and Erin Neville. Perennial threat Sachem East has Alexa Orlando, Morgan Tinari, Emily Hansen and Laurie Semetsis.
Goals will be hard to come by against Longwood with keeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce and defender Ashley Adams. Erika Flowers leads defensive-minded Patchogue-Medford and Edania Martinez leads an improved Brentwood.
County runner-up Northport could be the favorite with a relentless attack that features Cortney Fortunato, Natasha Albanese and the versatile Kristin Desmond.
Sweeper Teddi Petre and center midfielder Lauren Worden will protect the middle for Connetquot. Sachem North will rebuild around midfielder Courtney Cohen. Kelly Bilodeau will find the net for Whitman.
Perennial contender West Islip has Nicole Pernicairo on the wing, Nicole DiLevo in the midfield and Carlie Schecht anchoring the defense. East Islip has a natural goal scorer in Kayla Saager and a strong defense with Kayla Roundsman and Caylan Carracino. Kim Spiciarich, Gabby Scirica and Kayla D'Antone fuel a deep Smithtown West team.
Smithtown East features keeper Jenna Santoriello and forward Erin Vernillo.
North Babylon is strong up the middle with speedy sweeper Casey Fackner, midfielder Kelsie Brostek and keeper Angela DiFazio. Hauppauge returns an all-county duo of keeper Diana Poulin and midfielder Juliette Loccisano.
Kim Comstock of Comsewogue and Larissa Zambelli of Deer Park are two of the county's best keepers.
Kings Park has strong one-on-one defenders in Brittany Mueller and Paige Bly.
West Babylon has great team speed with Madison Vasquez in the midfield and Tara Smith in the backfield.
Islip peaked at the perfect time last season en route to a county title. With all but one starter returning, that play should carry into this season with everything running through midfielder Morgan Santoro. A solid defense will be anchored by Amanda Buck and Alex Peluso.
A deep Sayville team that went undefeated in the regular season last year will once again be hard to beat with forwards Madison Hoon and Julianne Johnston and defender Samantha Bishop.
County runner-up Bayport Blue Point will use pace of play to its advantage with all-county forwards Kaitlyn Leahy and Nicole Copping.
Harborfields' main marker is Christina Turner and top offensive threat is Caroline Wallace. Emily Gleason leads Eastport-South Manor. Miller Place is strong in the midfield with Courtney Ebel and Erin Johnson. Shoreham-Wading River looks playoff bound with midfielder Courtney Clasen, keeper Kelly Wynkoop and sweeper Kate Burkmire. Mount Sinai looks to build off a solid season with sweeper Garia Martorana and midfielders Gabbie Corrente and Marisa Colacino.
Takia Plummer and Brianna Mascia anchor the defense and Claire Brady patrols the midfield as Center Moriches seeks a fourth straight county title.
Mattituck has a veteran defensive-minded team led by defender Shannon Gatz and midfielder Anna Goerler. Babylon will contend with Kaileen Hart and Shelby Fredricks.
Five-time defending county champ Stony Brook returns keeper Mikaela Stiklickas, forward Giana Scavo and defender Madison Rylands. But this could be the year for Port Jefferson with the forward tandem of Mairead Swords and Olivia Racanelli.
Defender Katelyn Jones and Smithtown Christian, which missed states for the first time in five years, hope to return to Cortland.