High School Girls

March 26, 2013

Nike/US Lacrosse Northeast Region Report

by Tom Peace | LaxMagazine.com

Related: National Top 25 | Mid-Atlantic | Midwest | South | West

Top Performers

Maeve McMahon, Groton School (Mass.)

McMahon is a three-sport star athlete from Groton. Besides lacrosse, McMahon has excelled in field hockey and ice hockey. The 2012 US All-American caps an illustrious four-year high school career that includes starring in the 2012 US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament. The Harvard commit led the New England team to a tournament victory and was awarded the Heather Leigh Albert awarded to the best player in the Schoolgirls division.

Sophia Gambitsky, Wantagh (N.Y.)

Gambitsky doesn't allow much by her. The Wantagh senior goalie is athletic. She doesn't just stand in cage, she is always moving her feet around the crease and is alert to where the ball is at all times. Plus, Gambitsky clears the ball well. The Wantagh senior is off to a great start in 2013 with 15 saves combined in the Warriors' first two games.

Carolyn Paletta, Greenwich (Conn.)

The Greenwich junior attacker had a tremendous sophomore season for the Cardinals, leading Greenwich to the Class L title over Cheshire with a three-goal performance. Paletta scored four goals in the FCIAC loss to Darien. Paletta was named second-team All-State in Class L. Paletta is committed to North Carolina.

Games to Watch

Northport (N.Y.) at Sachem North (N.Y.) – March 27

Northport opens the 2012 season with a matchup against Sachem North. Cortney Fortunato begins her senior season and looks to help the Tigers rebound from an 11-5 record in 2012. Fortunato will be moving from attack to the midfield, which will make this first game interesting.

Garden City (N.Y.) at St. Paul's School for Girls (Md.) – March 28

Last season the Trojans traveled down I-95 to take on IAAM powerhouse McDonogh and suffered their first loss in 55 games. Garden City is heading back down to IAAM and this time plays St. Paul's School for Girls. This matchup will have some primetime players. Look for Jackie Jahelka, Lily Schmitt, and Krista Dampman to bring there A-games. As for the Gators, watch for midfielder Shelby Wells and attacker Amanda Sutor.

1. St. Anthony's (N.Y.) 1-0

The Friars beat Holy Trinity (N.Y.) 16-6 on March 22. St. Anthony's had six players each score two goals in the win.

2. Farmingdale (N.Y.) 1-0

Amanda Turturro and Nadine Hadnagy had a combined eight goals in the Dalers' 12-1 season-opening victory over Plainedge (N.Y.).

3. Manhasset (N.Y.) 1-0

Manhasset dominated in its season-opener against Port Washington (N.Y.), winning 18-8. Lindsey Ronbeck had a big game with two goals and two assists for Manhasset. The Indians next game is April 4 against Long Beach.

4. Garden City (N.Y.) 2-0

The Trojans are off and running in 2013 with two double-digit wins over North Shore (N.Y.), 17-8, and Hewlett (N.Y.), 18-2. Krista Dampman scored a combined eight goals and Jackie Jahelka had six combined goals in both wins for Garden City. The Trojans next game is against IAAM powerhouse St. Paul's School for Girls (Md.) on March 28.

5. Notre Dame Academy (Mass.), 0-0

Great coaching must be genetic. Meredith Frank, daughter of Westwood's Leslie Frank, has built a contender around Alex Dalton (Notre Dame), Julia Simmons (UConn), Mariel Teague (Columbia) and Amelia Brown (Colorado).

6. Northport (N.Y.), 0-0

All five of the Tigers' losses in 2012 were by three goals or fewer against top teams. Senior Cortney Fortunato (Notre Dame), the nation's top player who has been on varsity since seventh grade, should help put them on the winning end of those close contests.

7. West Genesee (N.Y.), 0-0

After six Class A titles in 11 years, it won't be easy to replace Erica Geremia, Emily Tripodi, Shannon Hawley and Kate Datellas. Though gashed by graduation at midfield, West Genesee did go 20-0 against New York foes.

8. Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.), 0-0

Senior Meredith Bushell (Northwestern) leads the Wildcats, who won their last seven games of 2012, many of which came down to the wire. Impressive victories included those over Mt. Sinai (N.Y.) and Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.), which finished 20-2.

9. Westwood (Mass.), 0-0

The Wolverines overcame losses to Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.) and Needham (Mass.) to win their final 12 games, avenging both en route to the state title. Defender Celia Condrick is the real deal, as she showed in stopping Madison Acton cold turkey in the playoffs.

10. New Canaan (Conn.) 0-0

The Rams return Olivia Hompe (Princeton), who chose to play lacrosse over ice hockey in college, as well as Lily Citrin, Bea Eppler and goalie Liz O'Sullivan (Stanford).

News and notes

Wilton loses Pearsall for the season

According to the Wilton Bulletin (Conn.), Wilton three-sport athlete Casey Pearsall tore her ACL during the fourth quarter of a Wilton girls' basketball game in late February.

Pearsall, who is committed to Notre Dame, will miss the entire lacrosse season.

The senior is coming off a junior season where she was named First Team All-American.

The young and the feisty in Rhode Island

La Salle Academy (R.I.) enters the 2013 season coming off a 12-win season in 2012. Rams coach Margaret Naughton is emphasizing fundamental play this season to a fairly young team.

"I lost twelve seniors this year so we are in rebuilding mode for sure. It's a long season and we need to keep things fresh and keep challenging ourselves," Naughton said. "We also need a better transitional and press game."

How young is this La Salle team? When asked who the players to watch this season are, Naughton said, "Everyone. We are going to be young, but hopefully feisty."

The Rams could use a boost this season by finally beating nemesis, Barrington, a team that has been a thorn in the Rams' side.

"They have some great athletes. I'll be happy if we are competitive with them at their field, which hasn't happened since 2010," Naughton said. "Every time we go over there we forget how to play lacrosse, so my hope is for a better effort."

Naughton has pieced together a decent schedule for her team this spring and her girls will be tested throughout. The Rams play Franklin (Mass.), a perennial Top 20 team in Massachusetts, and then play Foxboro (Mass.) the Saturday before Easter. And, of course, La Salle will do battle with division foes, Moses Brown (R.I.), North Kingstown (R.I.), and East Greenwich (R.I.).

The competition of these Rhode Island teams continues to grow in a state fairly new to the game.

"The high schools coaches are really devoted to bringing up the game. We've associated to bring more recognition to our athletes via the junior varsity tournament, all-select game and banquet," Naughton said. "We are having more competitive teams and the level of play is coming up. We have a ways to go, but it's fun to watch things improve."

The season is approaching for La Salle and the Rams are primed for another winning season and have many goals on the field, but Naughton also stresses the importance of sportsmanship and to not lose sight of their values.

"We are a Catholic school and a Lasallian school and it's important to compete while keeping in mind gospel values."

Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Tuesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Girls' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Boys' Top 25.

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