Mirabella Altebrando of Miller Place scores on a free position...

Mirabella Altebrando of Miller Place scores on a free position shot against Mount Sinai on Thursday. Credit: James Escher

When every lacrosse player first picks up a stick, the first thought that enters their mind is scoring goals. It’s natural, similar to a baseball player wanting to hit home runs and a football player wanting to score touchdowns. But when you have an offensive player more interested in helping others score than finishing the goals themselves, that’s when an offense can form a true identity.

Enter Mirabella Altebrando.

The Miller Place junior girls lacrosse player has become an elite passer this season, leading Long Island with 54 assists through Thursday. She has multiple assists in 12 of 14 games, including three games with at least eight assists. Altebrando has nearly three times as many assists as goals this season and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love the feeling,” Altebrando said. “It’s so satisfying when you pass and you just know they are going to catch it and score. And sharing that feeling with my teammates, I’m obsessed. I love it and it really keeps the momentum going.”

Altebrando also has 20 goals through Thursday to help Miller Place to a 9-5 overall record. She set a single-game program record with 10 assists in a 17-10 victory over Center Moriches on April 9. But like a true assists-oriented player would say, Altebrando was more excited about her teammate Olivia Coffey scoring her 100th career goal that day.

Altebrando didn’t realize until a text from her coach after the game that she set the program record. The junior attack broke Olivia Angelo’s record of eight assists in a game in 2017, according to coach Dan Spallina.

“You don’t even know what you’re doing until after and the numbers come out and you’re reading it and you’re like, ‘Wow, did I have that many?’ ” Altebrando said. “You don’t even realize. It just felt so good because I knew I got so many people involved in the game and I helped other people score.”

Spallina has seen more confidence in Altebrando’s play, which has helped her create offense.

“It’s a selfless attitude you have to have to have the amount of assists she has,” Spallina said. “It’s not something that she’s chasing after, it’s that she wants to feed because it’s the right play to make and it’s a product of a bunch of plays that need to be made and she’s making them.”

More than just the sheer number of assists she’s creating, Spallina noted the type of passes she’s making.

“She has the ability right now to make players better than they are,” Spallina said. “She’s passing people open. It’s not like it’s a wide-open transition, it’s the girl is almost being covered and she puts it into a perfect spot.”


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