St. Anthony's girls lacrosse teammates celebrate after their win over Sacred...

St. Anthony's girls lacrosse teammates celebrate after their win over Sacred Heart in the Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA Class AA final at Adelphi University on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Credit: James Escher

The expectations within the St. Anthony’s girls lacrosse program is very clear every year. Win. And win often. 

Every player that dons a Friars jersey understands and accepts these expectations. They are aware that basically every opponent has a matchup with St. Anthony’s circled on the calendar. The Friars wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We definitely use the success of our past to push us in the future,” said Tess Calabria, a junior midfielder/attack who led the team in goals (41) and points (59). “We use our history to really motivate us to keep that tradition going because I think putting on a St. Anthony’s jersey is something to take pride in and none of us take that for granted.”

St. Anthony’s captured its fourth straight CHSAA Class AA championship with an 8-7 victory over Sacred Heart at Adelphi on May 17. With no CHSAA teams outside Long Island competing at a Class AA level, it was the de facto state championship game.

“It’s worth fighting for,” said Amanda Paci, a junior defender. “Getting the wins and the amount of work we put in the offseason, it’s all for that moment. That’s our game, that’s what we work toward. It’s definitely motivation and wearing the Friars jersey, that’s always our goal to win that.” 

But the season wasn’t always easy for the Friars. St. Anthony’s lost two one-goal contests to Wantagh and Victor over the first six games of the year. The Friars ended the year on a 12-game winning streak to finish 16-2, but those losses never left the team.

“It reminded us that we can’t get comfortable to just be one of the best, we need to be the best,” Calabria said. “We always have a target on our back and people are always working hard to beat us, so we need to work hard to stay where we’re at.”

“It’s difficult to teach any team that type of competitive attitude unless you’ve played those games before,” coach Summer Koepplin said. “I think it’s really important to have those games, even if you do lose them because it teaches you how to compete.”

The Friars return a talented junior class next season with goals of furthering that legacy. But even with all the victories, the losses can stick with the players the most.

“Even going into next season, we’re going to have those losses in the back of our head,” Paci said. “And we’re going to come out stronger.”


CHSAA Class AA semifinals: Kellenberg, 16-5

CHSAA Class AA final: Sacred Heart, 8-7

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