High School Girls

April 18, 2012

Northeast Girls' Regional Report (April 18)

by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com

Top Performers

Emily Tripodi, West Genesee (N.Y.)
The Wildcats' senior, who will take her talents to Cornell next season, was at her very best against Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.), finishing with five assists. She had assists on four of West Genesee's first five goals, including the Wildcats' first goal, in which Tripodi set up shop behind the net and found teammate Erica Geremia for the score. She continued her strong play against Liverpool (N.Y.) with two goals and three assists. Tripodi has 27 assists on the season, representing 60 percent of her team's total.

Hollis Perticone, Darien (Conn.)
It's hard to believe, but Perticone might be best known for her efforts on the field hockey pitch, where she was part of an unbelievable reign of dominance by the Blue Wave. But she has also helped Darien jump out to a great start on the lacrosse field, contributing four goals and two assists in a 14-10 win over Staples (Conn.). The first freshman to make the varsity field hockey team in years, Petricone has made an immediate impact on both fields of play.

Kim Kolodny, Farmingdale (N.Y.)
Kolodny put away eight goals in a 17-4 conquest of Penfield, and has averaged an astounding seven goals per game thus far. In one ridiculous sequence, Kolodny scored three goals in 51 seconds against Wantagh (N.Y.). Coach Shari Campbell raved about Kolodny, saying that "she has the best stick skills [one our team]. She just has an uncanny knack of catching everything thrown to her and knowing where the net is."

Games to Watch

New Canaan (Conn.) at Darien (Conn.) – April 18
New Canaan takes its undefeated record to Darien, whose one loss came against national No. 2 Garden City (N.Y.). Darien has had New Canaan's number last season, beating the Rams on seven straight occasions, with New Canaan's last victory in the Constitution State rivalry coming on May 22, 2008. The two teams have gone to battle at least once every year since 2006. And sure enough, losses to Darien have put an end to three of the last four campaigns for New Canaan, so the Rams don't need any added motivation.

Garden City (N.Y.) vs. McDonogh (Md.) – April 21
This interstate matchup is as good as it gets, with the best of Maryland going against the best of New York. If Long Island is the Mecca of lacrosse, as Northwestern coach Kelly Amonte Hiller once called it, then Maryland is the Medina. Failed comparisons aside, the Eagles have gotten off to a blazing 8-0 start this year, putting an end to Vero Beach (Fla.)'s 69-game winning steak with and beating Bryn Mawr (Md.) too. But McDonough hasn't lost since 2009.

St. Anthony's (N.Y.) at Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.) – April 25
St. Anthony's earned respect in the Sunshine State with three victories over top-ranked ranked, but it still needs to earn the respect of the Empire State. The Friars could go a long way to doing so with a victory over the Friars. Sacred Heart surrendered a combined 63 goals in three losses to St. Anthony's last season.

1. Garden City (N.Y.), 6-0
Another week, another couple of wins for the Trojans, who picked up three victories since the last rankings. Garden City has methodically churned out W's, scoring exactly 18 goals in each of their last five wins, while surrendering just 18 goals combined in the same stretch. The Trojans will test themselves in the Maryland-New York Challenge, as they will take on undefeated, national No. 1 McDonogh.

2. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), 5-0
The Friars have rolled through the early part of their schedule, recording impressive wins over Manhasset (N.Y.) and Holy Trinity (N.Y.). But most impressive of all was St. Anthony's 16-12 victory over Chatham (N.J.). The Friars have gotten it done with powerful offense, scoring 16 or more goals in four of their five wins, and even better defense, surrendering just five goals per game. The out-of-state tests will continue in the Maryland-New York Challenge, as St. Anthony's will meet Bryn Mawr (Md.)

3. Farmingdale (N.Y.), 6-0
The Dalers have continued to torch their way through their early-season schedule, After scoring 20-plus goals on five separate occasions last season, the Dalers have already accomplished that feat three times this season. The Dalers are capable of going on long winning streaks — such as their 16-gamer in 2011 — and it looks like Farmingdale might be in the midst of another. Farmingdale will be favored in their next three games, before taking on the underdog role for the first time in a long time against Garden City on May 1.

4. West Genesee (N.Y.), 6-0
Bob Elmer's squad will have spent nearly a month on the road by the time they return home to play Rome Free Academy (N.Y.) on April 27. In the meanwhile, they will have played six true road games, as well as a neutral site game against Old Line State foe John Caroll (Md.). So far, so good, as the Wildcats have posted impressive wins over Baldwinsville (N.Y.) and Christian Brothers (N.Y.).

5. Hauppauge (N.Y.), 6-0
Last year, the Eagles made it all the way to the playoffs without losing a game, before finally falling to Garden City (N.Y.) by six goals. This Hauppauge squad appears poised to make a similar run, after easily winning its first six contests of the 2012 season. The Eagles have already topped Babylon (N.Y.), Mount Sinai (N.Y.) and Sayville (N.Y.), and have yet to surrender more than seven goals in a game.

6. Ward Melville (N.Y.), 8-0
The Patriots maintained their undefeated record with a resume-boosting 11-9 victory over Northport. Despite scoring 11 or fewer goals in four contests, the Patriots have rolled behind a stalwart defense that has yet to surrender more than nine goals in a game. Wins over Northport (N.Y.) and Sayville (N.Y.) were noteworthy, but Ward Melville will have little chance for a recess. The Warriors take on Bay Shore (N.Y.) and Sachem East (N.Y.) in the next week, two schools which have a combined 16-1 record thus far this season.

7. Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.), 4-0
The Warriors are here to stay. Lincoln-Sudbury hasn't let up after its early-season upset of Westwood (Mass.), winning its next three in convincing fashion. This is the season for Lincoln-Sudbury, as coach Deb DeJesus has said before, with Madison Acton, Megan Griffin and Rachel Sexton all finishing up very special careers.

8. Bay Shore (N.Y.), 6-0
The Marauders have run through a long list of talented opponents thus far, including West Islip (N.Y.) and West Babylon (N.Y.), and haven't yet lost. It's only going to get tougher. A four-game swing against New York teams Sachem East, Ward Melville, Northport and Wantagh looms.

9. New Canaan (Conn.), 6-0
New Canaan's eight losses last year were by a combined 14 goals. Well, if bad karma was their lot last season, the Rams are now enjoying a great turnaround, posting their first 6-0 start since 2008. They haven't left any games to chance thus far, winning each game by at least seven goals. A big test against Wilton (Conn.) waits Wednesday.

10. Westwood (Mass.), 4-1
Since dropping its season-opener to Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.), Westwood has rattled off four straight victories. The defense has been front and center for the Wolverines with just 13 goals surrendered in their last three games. That's the same number of goals they gave up against the Warriors. Westwood hasn't lost two games in a season since 2007.

News and Notes

Farmingdale's Campbell Evaluating Goalie Situation

Farmingdale (N.Y.) did not enter the 2012 season with a position battle brewing, but now due to the strong play of Olivia Kirk, coach Shari Campbell has some decisions to make.

"To be honest with you, that's one of the big conversations that the coaching staff is having right now," Campbell said. "We're not quite sure what we're going to do. I mean in my heart I think I know what I'm going to do but thank God I have two more weeks to think about it."

By Campbell's logic, it was clear who should stand in front of the cage at season's start, with Nicole Kayola earning the spot due to her longevity with the varsity squad. But during spring break, when Kayola had to skip town, Kirk stepped in and made a name for herself, posting a 10-save performance in Farmingdale's 17-4 victory over Penfield (N.Y.)

The sophomore's talent comes as no surprise to her coach, who said Kirk wasn't on varsity last season because the varsity squad already had two goalkeepers and she was worried Kirk wouldn't get enough minutes.

"She's so technically sound," Campbell said. "She's got such great anticipation and she's so quick with her hands that it has been no secret to us. But I guess the secret is out because she's very, very good."

While it seems any goalie could get the job done, with the Dalers surrendering four goals or fewer in each of their past five games, they will need to settle on a solution before they tighten their roster in May. And before Garden City (N.Y.), Manhasset (N.Y.), Massapequa (N.Y.) and Darien (Conn.) all make their appearances on Farmingdale's schedule.

"The veteran part of our team is our defense, since we didn't lose anything," Campbell said. "We knew we were going to be very, very strong defensively. We didn't really have to teach any new concepts to anybody. We could really just pick up where we left off last year."

While Campbell was hesitant to call it a battle for the goalie position, given how well the two girls get along, there is no doubt that a lot is at stake with Campbell's decision.

"I don't think that there's a battle between the two of them," Campbell said. "They get along very, very well, Nicole has really done a great job of taking Olivia under her wing and kind of showing her the ropes as a younger goalie. We'll see when May 1 rolls around. The coaching staff has to make that tough decision: Do you go with the hotter goalie? Or do you go with your program philosophy?"

Farmingdale Staying Focused

The good news for Farmingdale is that it has won its first six games of the 2012 season. The bad news is that it has beaten six teams with a combined record of 12-23. And if you exclude Wantagh, which Farmingdale barely beat in its opener, the Dalers' opponents thus far have a combined record of 7-21.

"Unfortunately in Nassau County, only in Conference I, there's not great parity between the teams," Campbell said. "[That's tough], especially for the juniors and seniors who know the teams on their schedule and know that, oh OK, we're going here tomorrow and we notoriously beat a team year in and year out. Even for them to keep that little fire in their bellies, to try and 'Any Given Sunday,' you never know what can happen. Ultimately we do, because that's just the way the programs are."

On the bright side, the Dalers have gotten a chance to give valuable minutes to everyone on the team. On the dark side, they have to work hard to remain ready for the top-notch competition later this season.

"What we have really been talking to our girls which has been working really well is the first half of our season, we really are our own challenge," Campbell said. "So we really have to use practice to step it up and that's really the best defense that we're going to see is our own defense and the best offense you're going to see is our own offense."

As soon as the Dalers learned how back-loaded their schedule was going to be in 2012, they scheduled a series of tough scrimmages to prepare them for the elite teams that they would eventually face.

And the Dalers have hardly been biding their time in April, using the routs that have peppered their early season as a chance to give everyone playing time, and as an opportunity to figure out who their best players are.

"That is one of the things that we do pride ourselves on," Campbell said. "We kind of have a little timeline for the girls, letting them know that the closer we get to the playoffs, the shorter the roster gets, so when we do have these opportunities, we try to talk to them about how it's not so much your contribution this year. It's what this season is going to contribute to you next year, confidence-wise, strategy-wise, learning the program and things like that, so even though it's not such a great situation for the starters because they're really only playing about a half, it really, really does the program well for years, for the next years, getting the freshmen and sophomores in."

Win Over Manhasset Highlights Wantagh's Strong Start

Any contest between Manhasset (N.Y.) and Wantagh (N.Y.) gets the players plenty excited. But Wantagh was particularly excited for the April 4 matchup, given that the Indians ended the Warriors' 2011 campaign with a 10-5 victory in the state playoffs.

"Playing Manhasset is just a great thing," Warriors coach Bobbi Colavita said. "You know what I'm saying. That whole matchup gets the girls psyched.

"You end on that note and you want to come back. It's kind of like a rivalry. You know it's going to be a good game. Even though it's not a playoff game, you almost play it like it is."

Both teams approached it like something extra was at stake, as the Warriors and Indians battled back and forth throughout the second half. Colavita said the teams were within two goals for the entire half.

"I always say this is one of the joys of coaching because it keeps you right in that competitive edge," Colavita said. "There's no settling. There's just a constant battle for the win."

The Warriors eventually came out on top, as Cassidy Meaney scored with 1:06 left to play on a set-up from junior midfielder Colleen Lovett.

"If she doesn't give that pass, that play doesn't happen," Colavita said. "Colleen Lovett was the passer, the girl on the assist. The commentators said on MSG Varsity, you don't know, you think she's going to be the one to go, but she saw the opportunity, and saw the team's opportunity to win."

With the win, Wantagh remained perfect in division play. The Warriors' only two losses have come outside of their league. With the calendar turning to May, Wantagh faces a difficult stretch against Bay Shore (N.Y.), Garden City (N.Y.) and Northport (N.Y.).

"To play against those teams that are in the playoffs, those very competitive teams, when you come out on top or even if you come out so close, there's just that hope that you can win and that knowledge that you know you can win," Colavita said.

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