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Field hockey preview: Nassau County

Massapequa's Jamie Ahrens defends against Port Washington's Alice

Massapequa's Jamie Ahrens defends against Port Washington's Alice Chou in the Nassau Class A field hockey final. (Nov. 6, 2011) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke



Three-time defending Nassau champ Massapequa lost 10 seniors, but still fields a deep, experienced team with 27 upperclassmen. It's led by midfielder Liz Doherty and forwards Jamie Ahrens, Kristin Yevoli and Lena Pollich. Meghan Porr anchors the defense, along with goalies Cassidy O'Brien and Cameo Tietje.

Port Washington, the county runner-up, will have an inexperienced defense but can offset that with a skilled offense. It's led by senior forwards Lauren Desimone, Olivia Anderson, Kristin Kujan, and midfielder Miranda Giovenco.

Baldwin, a semifinalist, lost only one starter and should again be in contention. The Bruins have center-midfielder Amanda Clemens and left wing Casey Barberio, and the defense features Julie Innis and all-county goalie Carly Mertens.

An enrollment boost has New Hyde Park up from Class B and back in "A" from where it reached the county final in 2010. The Gladiators are led by Jen Spagnuolo, Ana Bisciello, Melanie Sferrazza and twin midfielders Steph and Cara Bono. East Meadow reached the semifinals in a rebuilding year and should be improved.



Garden City lost 11 seniors from last season's state finalist squad, but it remains a force. The Trojans are led by midfielders Victoria Piscopo and Tara DeAngelo, forwards Charlotte Castronovo and Linda Attanasio, and defender Liz Kane. Margot McTiernan and Michaela Bruno -- the younger sisters of former stars Catherine McTiernan and Alexandra Bruno -- have great potential. Garden City will be tested in non-league matchups with Ward Melville and Sachem East in October.

Cold Spring Harbor graduated 10 after reaching its first county final, but still is elite, led by midfielder/defender Courtney Burke, Jillian Lee, Haley Crosson and goalie Taylor Striar. The Seahawks have promising youngsters in freshman Lauren Paolano and eighth-grader Kate Kotowski, the little sisters of former All-Long Islanders Katie Paolano and Victoria Kotowski.

Manhasset lost in the semis, marking only the second time in 14 years it's fallen short of the final. The Indians have a talented offense led by star forward Maddy Molinari, Emily Koufakis, Jackie Bruno, Julia Glynn and Abby Kucharczyk. Kate Conway and Kate Connors lead the defense.

Clarke, a semifinalist, returns twins Amanda and Angelica Gargiulo along with forwards Kristen Keller, Jessica Gibaldi, Caileigh Berry and midfielder Alexandra Stokum. North Shore lost 13 seniors but has Mary Kate Sheehan, Tess Korten, Carly Comitino and Meaghan Brennan. Locust Valley could be in the mix with stars Julia Palermo and Preston Tansill both back from ACL surgery. The Falcons also are led by Emily Schlicht and goalie Gaby DeAngelis.



Friends Academy won a seventh straight county championship and its first Long Island title since 2006. The Quakers graduated several top players, but do return Chloe Friedman and Emily Mara on offense, and senior defenders Katie Saltz and Alix Heffron, and goalie Charlotte Gelfand.

Carle Place, the county runner-up, is led by forward Taylor Ruscillo and center-midfielder Crystal Mitchell. Coach Carol Nesdill calls first-year goalie Lydia Wright, "the real deal."

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