Murray majors in assists
Alyssa Murray of West Babylon came into the season 43 assists shy of the state record of 275 held by Carolyn Davis, a 2005 Skaneateles alum and two-time All-American at Duke, according to Eagles coach Paul Digiulio and the NYSPHSAA record book.
But at the rate Murray's going, the record should be hers sooner rather than later. In West Babylon's first three games (they are 3-0), Murray has 17 assists, including seven in a 15-2 season-opening win over Massapequa, leaving her 26 shy of the mark. The Syracuse-bound midfielder also has 13 goals for a Long Island-leading 30 points.
At her current pace, Murray (pictured, right) will break the record at Floyd on April 16. West Babylon can then boast the state leaders in assists and goals, which 2008 graduate Shannon Smith set the mark for at 505.
"It'd be lying to say that I don't think about it," Murray said about the record. "I had 81 last year, so I can at least get whatever I need to break the record this year."
Murray's 81-assist season last year and her 75-assist campaign in 2008 are the third and fifth highest in a season in state history.
Abbie Gowen of Amherst holds the top two with 101 in 2008 and 99 in 2007 - marks Murray could threaten if she continues at her current pace.
Giacolone's coming of age
Tara Gerstacker is the go-to girl for the Eastport-South Manor offense, as the Stony Brook-bound attack already has nine goals through the first two games.
But on defense, the Sharks have found a youthful star in seventh-grade goalie Samantha Giacolone. Through the first two games (both wins), Giacolone has made 31 saves, and in the process, has received high praise from first-year ESM coach Justin White.
"I have to take a step back during practice and in games because the things she's been doing are incredible," said White, who himself played goalie at Ward Melville, and in college at Dowling and SUNY Oneonta. "She has incredible makeup, she's mature beyond her years."
Giacolone, who is 13, emerged in offseason "open-gym" practices and in preseason to earn the starting job. White added that Giacolone "saved them" in the first two games - an 11-10 double-overtime win at Sachem North and a 12-10 victory over Deer Park - with crucial saves late in each contest.
"I've never seen anything like it," said White, a former Riverhead boys lacrosse coach who compared Giacolone's talent to former Blue Waves football and lacrosse star Miguel Maysonet.
Giacolone is the daughter of ESM softball coach Steve Giacolone and Theresa Giacolone, who was the first All-American (third-team in 1992) at North Carolina. But Samantha picked up a lacrosse stick at a young age, and hasn't looked back.
Giacolone and Gerstacker hope to push ESM, which finished 13-6 last season and lost in the Class B semifinals to eventual champion Sayville (the third straight year Sayville has ended the Sharks' season), into Division II's elite.
Said White: "I'm going to enjoy the ride with her."
Top of the heap
The seeds were announced for the 2010 season. In Suffolk, Sachem North (Division I), North Babylon (Division II), Sayville (Division III) and Bayport-Blue Point (Division IV) were voted No. 1 by the coaches. In Nassau, Farmingdale (Conference I), Garden City (Conference II), Lawrence (Division III) and Seaford (Conference IV) were tops.
BASKETBALLHonors keep rolling in
Another week, another national honor for Tobias Harris and Bria Hartley. This time, it's the Parade All-American teams.
Harris, the Tennessee-bound forward, was a first-team selection to the 54th Parade boys team and Hartley, the Connecticut-bound guard, was named to the 34th first-team girls squad. Both just played in the McDonald's All-American game on Wednesday night.
Harris broke the small toe in his right foot and the 6-8 forward from Half Hollow Hills West will be sidelined six to eight weeks. Harris, who scored 13 points in the McDonald's game, will be unable to play in the Jordan Brand Classic at the Garden on April 17.