Here are some of the things discussed by coach Todd Gulluscio and defender Erin Creedon that weren't included in Sunday's article on the progress of the Greenport/Southold/Shelter Island field hockey team.
Coach Todd Gulluscio
Biggest difference this year: “The team chemistry. The kids are older, but don't have that much experience with field hockey. I've had a couple kids here for four years, but for some of them it’s their first experience ever. They’ve all worked really hard and they're buying into what we're doing.”
The team’s collective personality: “They're very caring and it’s a fun group. They enjoy themselves. But when it’s go time in a game, it’s go time… We’ve had very few headaches and I’m very fortunate to have great kids. I’ve had a student council president, honor roll students, NJROTC. Our kids are so involved with so many activities.”
What have been some of the keys on the field: “They play really good team hockey. They’ve been productive in practice and in games. Alexis Reed , our goalie, has been very good. She’s a three-year varsity goalie; all-conference last year. She’s a big-time travel player. Lauren Ficurilli has been a stabilizing force. She does a good job moving the ball, takes the majority of our free hits, plays well on both sides. Sarah Manfredi makes a lot of things happen and has really stepped up this year. Erin Creedon, she’s a really good senior defender, and Emily King does a good job in the midfield… It's a senior-laden team. We've got 10 seniors out of 16 [players] and our starting lineup is nine seniors, one junior and one freshman.”
The team’s potential going forward: “This is my last year. My assistant, Rebecca Lillis, will take over. She’s been my assistant for three years and I have all the confidence in her. I’m optimistic.
“It’s just time [to give up coaching]. I’m the A.D. as well and it’s tough to do both. I have to focus on other responsibilities.”
Pride in this being the best season during your tenure: “I'm very proud of how far these kids have come over time. Each year this thing has built and built. They've taken ownership of the team and they've tried to make every year better than what it was before. They want to leave it better than how they found it. I can’t be more proud of them.”
Senior defender Erin Creedon
The team's progress, from a senior’s perspective: “It's great. This is by far the most successful season I've ever had playing field hockey, and that’s a lot of fun. Each year we've improved and it's all coming together.”
Challenges of being a small school(s): “We have to scramble to find people to play each year. I switched from soccer two years ago. We have to find people from three schools because Greenport's not enough.”
What’s been the motivation? “I think a lot of it comes from us having a lot of seniors. We went into the season more experienced and we had our goals set from the year before. We picked right up. ”
Best memory of this season thus far: “The East Hampton game we had,” she said. Greenport/Southold/Shelter Island won, 2-1, on Lauren Ficurilli’s second-goal. “I just remember we lost to them pretty badly two years ago. It was a big game for us and we played really well. I was proud of our performance.”
The team’s chemistry: “It's a lot of fun because we have strong friendships on and off the field. It's not just a sport to us, it's a hobby – something we love to do.”