Vikings lacrosse turning heads in regular season

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Vikings lacrosse turning heads in regular season

Senior Tommy Dover scoops the ball at a home game against North Shore on April 4. The Vikings won the game 13-12

Senior Tommy Dover scoops the ball at a home game against North Shore on April 4. The Vikings won the game 13-12

Senior Tommy Dover scoops the ball at a home game against North Shore on April 4. The Vikings won the game 13-12

Senior Tommy Dover scoops the ball at a home game against North Shore on April 4. The Vikings won the game 13-12

Aiden Spizz and Josh Rosen, Staff Writers

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Both the girls and boys lacrosse teams are hoping to build off of their success last season.  The girls team came into the season ranked number eight by the FLG Lacrosse Coaches Poll, while the boys came into the season ranked fifth.  However, the girls team lost two of their leaders from last season: Lily Avazis, who plays at East Carolina University, and Rachel Rosen, who is playing at Penn State.  The boys lost four senior starters: Tommy Carrillo, Robby Connors, Brian Crawley, and Crew Weingard. Crawley took his talents to Fairfield University, and Connors is playing at Oswego State.  Hopefully, both the girls and boys can build off of last year’s momentum and win their respective county championships this year. 

The girls team is coming off of a very successful 2017, in which they made it all the way to the county finals before losing to Massapequa.  Their current team has strong leadership, with nine of the twenty players being seniors, including senior Ali Hoffman, who will be attending MIT for lacrosse, and senior Rebecca Rosen, who will be attending Brown for soccer.  This year there are four underclassmen on the varsity team: freshman Ribecca Sperry and Tobey Tick, Ali Turner, and Sydney Van Cott. 

Juniors Michaela and Morgan Gearty, who had 35 goals and nine assists combined last season, are both hoping to continue their success in 2018.  Senior Jenny Valenti is the goalie for this upcoming season.  Coming into the season, the team had high hopes that they would win the county championships.  

So far, the team has taken some time to regain its form from last season.  On March 20, the Lady Vikings dropped their first game of the season, at home, 11-1 to the defending county champions, Massapequa.  Port’s only goal was scored by Hoffman, while the team was out-saved eleven shots to two.  In their next two games, on the road against Garden City and North Shore, Port lost 11-8 and 14-10, respectively.  On March 26, Port actually outscored Garden City 4-3 in the first half, but started to slip in the second half.  During that game, the girls played much better than compared to the Massapequa game.  Tick, Rosen, Hoffman, and both Gearty sisters all scored goals.  Two days later, the team traveled to North Shore for an away game.  They fell into an early hole as they were outscored 8-4 in the first half.  That day, Michaela Gearty led the squad with four goals, while Rosen scored three goals.  Later in the season, on April 11, the squad fell to Manhasset 15-6, digging themselves into an early hole down, as they were down 9-2 at the break.  Since then, they have started to improve.  The team then took their talents to Wantagh, where they led at the half, but eventually lost 9-8.  Rosen had arguably her best game of the season, in which she scored four goals and an assist, totaling 5 points.

Hoffman, has very high hopes for the season, but she also believes that they could play more as a team.

“Our goal as a team is probably to top our performance from last year.  We want to do the best we can with what we have. The team is getting better at it, but we really need to execute and play as a team,” said Hoffman. “Better communication and energy should help us get there. The team’s biggest strength is that we are all good, and we have awesome coaches who support us whether we win or lose.”

Ribecca Sperry is the only freshman on the varsity team, which can be tough, but Sperry has embraced her spot on the varsity squad.

“It’s actually fun being the only freshman because I have gotten to know everyone,” said Sperry.  “If there was another freshman I would always be partners with them or sat with them and not gotten to know everyone as well.”

Sperry also says the upperclassmen have been very welcoming and kind, helping her transition to a varsity sport. 

“The upperclassman are so much fun and so nice and bubbly,” said Sperry.  “From the first day of tryouts to now, they make sure I’m included in everything and don’t want me to be left out.”

This type of bonding is vital in a sport, especially a team sport like lacrosse.  Bonding leads to chemistry on the field, which leads to better results for the Vikings.  Being a freshman, Sperry has many more years of lacrosse to come.  She has clear goals for her upcoming years leading the Vikings. 

“I just hope to become a stronger player and get rid of some weaknesses I have in my game,” said Sperry.

Over the course of the rest of their games, which last until May 8, the team hopes to have a great second half surge, leading into excellent performance in the playoffs.  Their goal is to make it past their performance last year, and compete against the top teams while bringing a county championship back to Schreiber.

Coming into the season, the boys lacrosse team had equally high expectations. Although they lost some major contributors from last season, they remain strong.  Overall, the team went 11-6, including a 7-3 record in the Nassau Conference last season.  The team comes into the season hoping to go far in the playoffs and win the county championship for the first time in 23 years, as their last championship win was in 1995.  Fortunately, they are off to a great start so far and are within reach of a championship.

So far the boys team has played seven games with a 4-3 record.  Leading the team in points is senior James Dalimonte with 21 goals and eleven assists, totalling 32 points, which is sixth in Nassau County.  Senior Drew Turner and sophomore Brian Pohoreckyj both have fourteen goals and nine assists.  The team started off their season strong going 4-0.  They beat Hewlett 13-9, Locust Valley 12-3, Long Beach 15-6, and finally North Shore 13-12 in a fourth quarter thriller.  The team then went on to lose to Half Hollow Hills West 14-15 in another thriller, South side 3-9, and to Kellenberg 12-16.  Against Hewlett, Turner had a monster game by having four goals and two assists.  Pohoreckyj also added on two goals and four assists.  Athanasian and Dalimonte, along with sophomore Brandon Caslow, combined for six goals and four assists in that matchup.  Junior A.J. Galassi also had a big game between the bars, with 11 saves.  Then, against Locust Valley, Pohoreckyj and Dalimonte both had three goals and two assists.  Caslow added three goals, while sophomore Mikey Beil had a goal and an assist.  In the team’s next game against Long Beach, Dalimonte piled it on with four goals and four assists, Sophomore Mikey Beil had three goals and an assist, while Caslow had three goals and two assists, and Turner had four assists.  Galassi and senior George Moschos were both walls in goal as they combined for nine saves.  Against North Shore, on April 4, Turner and Dalimonte each had three goals and two assists, Pohoreckyj had two goals and one assist, while Beil notched another two goals for the Vikings. Turner had a goal with 2:17 left in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Vikings, taking a 13-9 lead.  Galassi had another big game in goal with six saves. 

On the team there is an eighth grader, Henry Haberman, as well as two freshmen, Jared Morales and Jensen Weingard.  So far this season, Haberman has three total points, scoring one goal against South Side, and one goal and one assist against Kellenberg. Morales totaled one goal so far against Long Beach.

“Being a freshman on the team is fun and a great experience,” said Morales.  “I love the challenge of playing with older and bigger guys.  We have a lot of talent this year and our biggest goal is definitely to win a county championship.  My personal goal is to work hard and become a key player in upcoming years.”

Finishing up April, the team has intense upcoming games against Freeport, Oceanside, and Syosset. Their last games are in May against Baldwin, Massapequa, East Meadow, Farmingdale, and Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK. 

Towards the end of the season, the team hopes to bring back their early season surge and make a deep playoff push.  Their main goal is to make it past their finish in last year’s playoffs, and bring back the first county championship in 23 years.

Both teams have worked very hard and succeeded in the past month, and will look to continue their success into May and through the playoffs.  Although both teams lost some valuable seniors, the upperclassmen have stepped up into critical leadership roles.  The underclassmen on both teams have also contributed greatly in some important games.  Since last year, the teams have continued to improve and are both working their way toward county championships in the foreseeable future.  Every single member on both teams have proven themselves to be invaluable, and will be vital in the ongoing push for a county championship.

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