Arianna and Crystal Esposito have played field hockey together for 11 years in camps, travel leagues and at Miller Place High School.
That ends after this school year when graduation splits them apart.
“My final season playing alongside my sister Crystal will be bittersweet,” said Arianna, a senior. “We have achieved so much playing beside one another and I will never forget all the memories we shared. I hope to make this season the best one yet.”
Crystal is coming off an All-Long Island sophomore season in which she ranked third in Suffolk with 29 points, tallying 22 goals and seven assists. Arianna, who made the All-LI second team, collected 19 points, scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists.
Through the first five games of the 2016 season, the two forwards have totaled six goals and five assists.
Alana LaMorte, their varsity coach, has worked with the two since they were in elementary school.
“I have coached many sets of sisters before, but I have never coached a pair of sisters like Arianna and Crystal,” LaMorte said. “On the field they have such a strong connection. They work so well together and they both have the killer instinct and the will to win.”
In addition to the Esposito sisters, the Panthers have another solid goal scorer in senior Jillian Fazio. LaMorte said that “Fazio has “the ability to read the goalkeeper and score at will.”
Through the first five games, Fazio has five goals and four assists.
“The players are hungry to score goals but are willing to alter their positions and do whatever it takes to make the team better,” LaMorte said.
In the midfield, senior Julia Burns will be a vital component of the Panthers offense, as she will use her quick stick skills and vision to create scoring opportunities for her teammates.
On defense, senior defender Brooke Anthony returns after missing last season with a torn ACL Anthony will anchor the defensive backfield and will have the support of junior goalkeeper Ally Tarantino.
Miller Place (5-0) has started strongly this season, posting shutouts in its three games. The Panthers’ toughest test will come at 4 p.m. on Wednesday when they take on their crosstown rivals at Rocky Point.
“Playing Rocky Point is always a highly anticipated game,” LaMorte said. “The girls love the hometown rivalry and the game is always a battle that could go either way.”