Farmingdale returns a strong group of starters, including Kelly McPartland,...

Farmingdale returns a strong group of starters, including Kelly McPartland, left. (Mar. 25, 2011) Credit: James Escher

Back-to-back state championships again has Farmingdale tabbed the favorite as the status quo remains in Nassau Class A. But there could be a twist in the other classes, with Manhasset as the impetus. The Indians' shift to Class B provides another elite team for Garden City to tussle with and removes what, for seven years, had been a glass ceiling in "C."

 

CLASS A

Farmingdale remains a powerhouse with star midfielder Kelly McPartland headlining a loaded roster that includes Jamie Leone, Maegan Meritz, Kyra Ochwat and goalie Alex Gurecki. Massapequa, the runner-up, has a strong attack line to help offset its inexperience on defense. Danielle Doherty, Kelsey O'Brien, Nicole Boylan and Madelyn Pimental lead a potent offense. Baldwin, a semifinalist, should also be in the mix with Allie Rodgers, Courtney Berg and Victoria Pellegrino. MacArthur, which reached the "B" quarterfinals, moved up and could be a threat with crafty midfielder Emily Powell and Jessica Gattus. East Meadow, with Ryan Mayer and goalie Vanessa DePasquale, Long Beach (Emily McLoughlin) and Port Washington (Alexa Froccaro) also should contend.

 

CLASS B

Garden City is . . . well, Garden City. The five-time defending state champ returns four first-team All-Americans (Kelly Weis, Mikaela Rix, Caroline Tarzian and Barbara Sullivan). Emerging stars Alexandra Bruno, Catherine McTiernan, Gabrielle Nesi and Catherine Dickinson bolster the roster.

Runner-up Wantagh has a light-it-up offense led by All-American Paula Schmidt, Sabrina Mattera, Colleen Lovett, Kaleigh Craig and April Iannetta. Defender Brianna Schussler and goalie Kelly Keenan anchor the defense. Semifinalist South Side returns mostly intact with Dana Ahern, Jackie Cifarelli, Emily Considine and goalie Kelsey Gregerson.

Manhasset is new to the class, but no team is eager to face the Indians. Seven consecutive county titles and a stout defense will do that. They are a force with All-Americans Halle Majorana, Meg Markham and Kerri Fleishhacker along with Jenny Vlahos and Cara Cappellini. Plainedge, a semifinalist, will be in the mix.

 

CLASS CIt would stand to reason that Cold Spring Harbor, last year's runner-up, would benefit most from Manhasset's move, but the Seahawks have 14 new players. They do, however, return stars Victoria Kotowski, Michelle Abramczyk, Claire Switala and Kelly Sherlock.

North Shore, which lost in overtime in the semis, is also on the cusp. The Vikings have a talented group that includes Amanda Johansen, Lauren Janelli and goalie Jennie Berglin. Mineola returns Kerri and Kalie Medlock, Samantha Stavish and Alicia Mercurio. Amelia Taylor leads Seaford. Locust Valley and Friends Academy will be in the mix, and Carle Place has Taylor Martello, a prolific scorer.