Impeccable timing has made Katie Reilly and Emma DeGennaro forces to be reckoned with.
Seniors on the Huntington girls lacrosse team, Reilly and DeGennaro have known each other since fourth grade and have established a close friendship that goes beyond the confines of a lacrosse field.
This friendship has blossomed into an on-field chemistry that makes the tandem hard to contain. Reilly is one of Long Island’s premiere feeders and passers. When DeGennaro cuts, Reilly puts the ball where only she can get it.
And the result is almost always a goal.
“That girl just knows how to get to the goal,” Reilly said. “She is a goal scorer.”
Not one to take credit from her friend, DeGennaro had a different opinion.
“She just knows exactly where to put the ball and when to time it,” DeGennaro said. “Based off your cut, you know 99 percent of the time the pass is going to go right to your stick.”
But this duo did not connect immediately. DeGennaro said she wasn’t sure if Reilly even liked her when they met in fourth grade. Reilly laughed and said that wasn’t the case at all, but admitted to really getting close as freshman when they became varsity teammates.
Reilly and DeGennaro have been regular members of the Suffolk leaderboard since. Reilly led Suffolk in points as a sophomore with 49 goals and 85 assists, and DeGennaro is near the top 10 points leaders this season with 52 goals and 23 assists.
Reilly also notched her 300th varsity point in a 14-8 loss to Westhampton on Thursday.
Both top recruits, Reilly and DeGennaro were scouted by some of the same Division I colleges. While they talked often about their possibilities, they chose to make their commitments separately.
So their final decisions came as a bit of a surprise.
Reilly chose Princeton. DeGennaro picked Brown. The two best friends who enjoyed incredible success together as Blue Devils were set to be Ivy League rivals in the fall.
Sharing the field as opponents next season will no doubt add a new chapter to their relationship.
“I’m obviously looking forward to it, but it’s going to be weird for the first season never playing with Katie,” DeGennaro said.
The more outspoken of the two, Reilly is a vocal leader who relays plays and formations to her teammates. DeGennaro is a little quieter and lets her goal-scoring do the talking on the field.
“We’re different, but that’s why it’s a good friendship,” DeGennaro said.
Injuries have been a problem for the duo this season. DeGennaro recently dislocated her knee after scoring against West Babylon, and Reilly missed all but seven games because of MCL and quad injuries.
First-year coach Jess Maggio had only heard stories about their dynamic play, and it wasn’t until Reilly returned in mid-April that she could tell the stories were true.
“As soon as she started playing, they just connected,” Maggio said. “Most of Emma’s goals were from Katie. They definitely have some sort of yin-yang connection.”
Maggio believes that both of her stars have potential to be standouts in the Ivy League. The terms “point guard” and “quarterback” are thrown around frequently when talking about Reilly, and when people talk about DeGennaro, they just shake their heads in disbelief when mentioning the type of scorer she is.
And it won’t take long for their new programs to find out the same.
As for how Reilly and DeGennaro will react when they first see each other in different uniforms, expect the quirkiness of their friendship to shine through.
Said Reilly: “We’re probably just going to laugh as soon as we see each other.”