Last Season: 8-1-3 (12-1-3), lost to Smithtown East on penalty kicks in county championship game
Until a Class AA county championship game is played without West Islip, they will remain the favorite in what is the most stacked league in Suffolk this season. Seeking a fourth straight trip to the county title game, the Lions return 11 seniors and 18 players overall from a team that came within a penalty kick of winning a second straight county championship. Senior Brooke Kerrigan leads a strong midfield that also includes senior Taylor LaRose. Molly Ohman shifts from midfield to sweeper to anchor the defense, where the loss of second-team all-state keeper Samantha Whitney will undoubtedly be felt. West Islip’s top three goal scorers from last season - Amanda Martinez, Chelsea Weir and Kelsey Raschke – all return to form a formidable trio at the forward position.
Season Opener: at Babylon on Sept. 7 (followed by a rematch with Smithtown East on Sept. 10)
Last Season: 10-2 (11-2-1), upset by Smithtown East on penalty kicks in first round
In 2009, former Northport coach Tom Fazio said sophomores Kristi Abbate and Rosy Hayes (pictured above) would form a tandem that would be a force to be reckoned with for the next three years. Injuries kept them from reaching their full potential as a tandem, but their senior season may be the year that Abbate, who was named Newsday’s Suffolk Player of the Year in 2009, and Hayes, who earned second-team all-state honors last season, put it all together. Abbate is the distributor who will beat defenders in the midfield to find Hayes and fellow forwards Courtney Fortunato and Kelsey Kerns up top, comprising a strong attacking team. The core of the Tigers defense also remains in tact – three starters were lost to graduation overall – with sophomore Kristin Desmond and senior Sara Ronde playing in front of senior keeper Jamie Whitlow. Prediction: The final year of the Abbate/Hayes tandem will be their finest.
Season Opener: vs. Half Hollow Hills East on Sept. 9 (Season Finale: vs. West Islip on October 26, this game would be well worth the price of admission if there was one)
Last Season: 11-1 (13-2), lost 1-0 in overtime to Smithtown East in county semis
Over the last few years, Connetquot has been the beneficiary of a rich soccer bloodline in the Murino family. First came Danielle, who now plays at Hofstra, then Michelle, who now plays at St. Johns, then Deanna, who joined her sister with the Red Storm this season, and finally JoJo, the baby sister who will cap the Murino Era at Connetquot High School this season. Murino will split time in the midfield and at stopper where she will anchor a defense that includes Lauren Worden and Teddi Petre. Senior forward Dawn Hickey will carry the load offensively as up-and-comers look to fill the void left by Deanna Murino and Raychel Diver.
Season Opener: at Hauppauge on Sept. 7 (Note: Open league play against Northport on Sept. 21…rivalry is up there with Yankees/Red Sox and Celtics/Lakers).
Last Season: 11-1 (14-2), upset by Whitman, 1-0, in first round
As the cliché goes, programs like Sachem East don’t rebuild, they reload. The Flaming Arrows, who were the top seed in the Class AA playoffs last season, certainly have holes to fill after graduating 13 players, notably naming the successor to first-team all-state goalkeeper Alyssa Gutierrez. Junior midfielder/striker Morgan Tinari and senior defender Allie Picasico will provide veteran leadership at their respective ends of the field for a young team that will feature freshman and sophomore starters.
Season Opener: at Riverhead on Sept. 8
Last Season: 4-7-1 (4-10-2)
A young team last year that is now an up-and-coming team stuck in the toughest league in the county. With more experience to go along with speed and aggressiveness, Lindenhurst is hoping to sneak into the playoffs. Senior midfielder Courtney McCarthy and senior striker Kristy Trebing will be joined by a strong core of ninth graders as the Bulldogs plan to attack more and strive to get to .500 to qualify for the postseason.
Season Opener: at Deer Park on Sept. 7
BAY SHORE: 2-10 (3-12)…Season Opener: vs. West Babylon on Sept. 8
CENTRAL ISLIP: 0-12 (0-15)…Season Opener: vs. Port Jeff on Sept. 13
**COMING FRIDAY: SUFFOLK LEAGUE III PREVIEW**