St. Anthony's Darcy Messina is among a solid group of...

St. Anthony's Darcy Messina is among a solid group of returning scorers for two-time defending Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA champion St. Anthony's. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

St. Anthony's isn't going to duck anyone this season.

Dates with defending state Class A champion Farmingdale and Suffolk Class B finalist Rocky Point remain on a tough non-league slate for the Friars. And that's after they made a statement in a 15-7 win over West Islip on April 3.

The two-time defending Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA champion St. Anthony's returns a solid group of scorers in Annie Heagerty, Darcy Messina and Maggie Bill, while Haley Bloom serves as the facilitator in the offense. Tori Holland is solid in net, and Shanna Brady heads the defense. St. Anthony's also appears to have plenty of fight.

After the win over West Islip, Brady said: "We know how talented we are. Watch out. We're St. Anthony's and we're ready to play."

Sacred Heart is young but has experience, as seven of the 11 starters are sophomores. Becky Conto leads the midfield and Meaghan Breen is the backbone of the attack. Aileen Carey and Taylor Higgins anchor the defense with Lauren Bonagura, the only senior starter. Another upperclassman who will have an impact is junior Kristen Brent, an aggressive midfielder.

St. John the Baptist returns 50-goal scorers Danielle Jaycox and Erin Collins, both junior midfielders, and despite early-season losses to Sacred Heart and St. Anthony's, coach Janine Pirone believes her team is poised to take a step forward.

"We do have a lot of skill," Pirone said. "We've just got to put it all together."

Our Lady of Mercy returns standout Heather Russell, and Katie Cunningham leads Kellenberg.

INDEPENDENT

Portledge fell in overtime of last season's NYSAIS championship. It was the first time in school history it reached the NYSAIS final. Portledge will again be very strong on the midfield with seniors Addie Reilly, Claudia Rogers and Chelsea Caracciolo. The entire starting defense returns, including senior Monique Kelly.