Nike/US Lacrosse Northeast Region Report
by Tom Peace | LaxMagazine.com
Jackie Jahelka, Garden City (N.Y.)
Jahelka is having an All-American season so far with 17 total points. Jahelka who is committed to Adelphi University for the fall of 2013, is on a team loaded with talent and is making a name for herself this season.
Vickie Graveline, West Genesee (N.Y.)
Graveline has 37 total career points for the Wildcats and has 12 so far this season. The West Genesee senior is a good athlete and had an impressive basketball career also with a total 546 points. Graveline is committed to Division II powerhouse Le Moyne.
Marina Burke, Westwood (Mass.)
Burke is coming off a huge junior season for Westwood. Burke was instrumental in helping guide the Wolverines to a second state championship. Burke made second-team league All-Star for the Eastern Massachusetts Girls Lacrosse Coaches Association. Westwood lost a ton of talented seniors from last year's team to graduation so it's now Burke's time to take the lead.
Games to Watch
Garden City (N.Y.) at Manhasset (N.Y.) – April 11
A Northeast Region Top 10 showdown, both of these teams are trying to keep their footing in the rankings. Both teams are coming off recent victories over top teams, Garden City beat Darien (Conn.) in double-overtime and Manhasset sent Chatham (N.J.) home with a seven-point loss. Keep an eye on Jackie Jahelka and Krista Dampman for the Trojans. As for the Indians, Sarah Barcia, Lindsey Ronbeck and Natalie Stefan all have the potential to have big games for Manhasset.
Barrington (R.I.) at La Salle Academy (R.I.) – April 11
Barrington is off to a 1-0 start and will be facing a team that the Eagles defeated in every contest the past two seasons. Though the Rams are out to prove a point and could surprise Barrington. One benefit for La Salle is Barrington has to play another Rhode Island powerhouse, Moses Brown School, on the April 9 and could be not at 100 percent.
1. Farmingdale (N.Y.), 2-0
Farmingdale has been idle the past week, but is back in action on April 9 against North Shore (N.Y.). So far in two wins Amanda Turturro and Nadine Hadnagy have combined for 16 points.
2. Manhasset (N.Y.), 3-0
The Indians are off to a 3-0 start with a big win on April 6 against New Jersey powerhouse, Chatham. Manhasset won 14-7 and had three players with three-goal games in the victory. Manhasset faces Wantagh (N.Y.) next on April 9.
3. Garden City (N.Y.), 4-0
The Trojans look to build something special in 2013. Garden City has two impressive wins over St. Paul's School for Girls (Md.) winning 12-4, and a double overtime 12-11 win over Connecticut state champion Darien. In both wins Jackie Jahelka scored four goals.
4. St. Anthony's (N.Y.), 2-1
The Friars went south for Spring Break and were stunned in a 13-12 loss to Vero Beach (Fla.). St. Anthony's looks to shake off the loss on April 15 against No. 5 Notre Dame Academy (Mass.).
5. Notre Dame Academy (Mass.), 3-0
The Cougars started the season with a 3-0 record and in each win Notre Dame has not allowed more than five goals. In Notre Dame's recent 20-5 win over Ursuline Academy (Mass.), Isabella O'Connor scored five goals and Alex Dalton had four goals and an assist for the Cougars.
6. Northport (N.Y.), 4-0
The Tigers have handled their opponents so far this season with double-digit wins. Northport tangled with Good Counsel (Md.) on April 3 and won convincingly 13-5. Allie Pavinelli had five goals and three assists.
7. West Genesee (N.Y.), 3-0
The Wildcats are coming off a 20-1 season and are on a 17-game winning streak dating back to the middle of last April. On April 4 the Wildcats beat Liverpool (N.Y.) 11-4. Both Hannah Elmer and Vicki Graveline had three goals and three assists. West Genesee looks to stay on the winning track on April 9 when the Wildcats take on Fayetteville-Manlius.
8. Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.), 3-0
So far for SWR it has been the Alyssa Pearce show. Pearce has been the leading scorer for Shoreham-Wading River in all three wins. The sophomore is coming off a freshman campaign where she scored 10 goals. So far the attacker has eight goals in three games.
9. New Canaan (Conn.), 2-0
New Canaan beat in-state rival Wilton (Conn.) on Saturday 17-11. The victory is head coach Kristin Woods' 100 of her career. New Canaan's Olivia Hompe scored five of New Canaan's 17 goals. Goalie Elizabeth O'Sullivan had 10 saves. The Rams move onto face Norwalk on April 9.
10. Westwood (Mass.), 2-0
The Wolverines are off and running with back-to-back wins over Medway (Mass.) and Ashland (Mass.). Westwood is off until April 16 when they play Andover.
News and Notes
Teams on the Top 10 bubble
Bay Shore (N.Y.) is off to a 3-0 start with wins over West Babylon (N.Y.), Hauppauge (N.Y.) and Smithtown East (N.Y.). Katie Kirk had five combined goals in two of the three victories.
Wantagh (N.Y.) has five wins and has dates with three teams in the Top 10 this season, beginning with No. 2 Manhasset on April 9. Colleen Lovett has been the spark plug for the Warriors. Lovett scored the game winner in a 14-13 win over Massapequa.
Even though Darien (Conn.) lost to Garden City, it took two overtimes for the Trojans to beat the Blue Wave. Stars Jena Fitts and Dilon Schoen guide the Blue Wave this season. The defending Connecticut state champs still have a monster of a schedule with in-conference battles with New Canaan (Conn.), Staples (Conn.), Wilton (Conn.), Ridgefield (Conn.), and Greenwich (Conn.).
Trumbull is shooting for a Golden season
It was the middle of March in Trumbull, Conn. and the weather outside was windy and the temperatures not ideal for the Trumbull (Conn.) girls' lacrosse team as it prepared for the 2013 season. Though, for new head coach Michael Spinner, the fact that the team was outside and committed to developing a game plan, made him realize this group is determined and could have a special season.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 9-9 season in 2012 and have replaced coach Lou Monaco with Spinner, who comes to Trumball with quite the lacrosse resume.
The former Pace University goalie has been involved with the game of lacrosse for the last 15 years. Spinner has coached on the high school level for Greenwich — where he led the Cardinals to a 18-4 season in 2002 and the No. 24 spot in the Laxpower.com rankings — to the collegiate level for Manhattanville College and Salisbury, and at the national level as the head coach for Team USA for the 2006 Down Under Cup in Melbourne, Australia and the 2007 Aussie Titles in Sydney, Australia.
"I am thrilled with the progress of this team. The CIAC makes it very difficult for a new coach in a spring sport by not allowing practice until March 18 with the first games to be played two weeks later. Two weeks goes by in a hurry when it comes to implementing a new system and building chemistry," said Spinner. "But the team did their part to be ready on the first day. We have amazing captains who made sure that everybody came in fit and the sticks were sharp.
"Our athletic trainer spent hours each week on conditioning and agility work, and it showed. Day one, we could focus on lacrosse only and, as a result, in two weeks all three of our teams advanced by leaps and bounds. The product is nowhere nearly as good as it will be by the end of the season, but we're in a very good place right now, and I think we're only going to get better. "
In a conference that is loaded with talented teams such as Darien, Wilton, New Canaan and Greenwich, it's hard to build a team to find wins. Though Spinner, who isn't a stranger to the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC), is trying to have his team not be intimidated by the better teams in the conference.
"It is a huge undertaking to take the field with the likes of Wilton, Darien, New Cannan and Greenwich. And programs such as Staples, Danbury, Ridgefield and others are not that far behind the top," Spinner said. "There is unbelievable lacrosse in the FCIAC, and terrific coaching across the board, so as much as this is a high school program, if you don't run it like a college team, you don't have a shot to be competitive, let alone successful. Every game is a war, and programs like Trumbull would probably be near the top of any other conference in the state, but here we are trying to claw our way in every game in the FCIAC. It's a huge challenge, but it is also a lot of fun."
Trumbull opened the season on April 3 against Wilton, the 2012 Connecticut runner-up and lost 10-3, but the score doesn't reflect the how hard Trumball played against the Warriors.
"We battled them every step of the way. We trailed 5-1 at halftime en route to a 10-3 loss, but we never made it easy for them. It was a battle right to the end, and I could not have been prouder of the team," Spinner said. "We went right after Wilton and did not employ a stall or any other tactic to slow the game down. I was not going to have the team play duck-and-cover lacrosse for my first game here. Wilton was the better team, but for us to not be intimidated by one of the best programs in the nation, and push them for 50 minutes demonstrates a lot about Trumbull Lacrosse."
Spinner doesn't have to worry about his message getting through to his team. The Golden Eagles have a strong senior class that leads by example starting with goalie Arianna Matz.
Matz (Brandeis University) is a high caliber student and athlete who had 15 saves in the loss to Wilton.
"I have college coaches all over the place asking me every fall if I know of good goalies still available, and here we have one of the best goalies in the state who is not playing varsity lacrosse in college," said Spinner.
Trumbull senior defender Kelly Reho is a hard-nosed defender who is thriving within the new defensive system.
"I don't think this defense would have advanced as far as we have without her presence as an athlete and a leader," Spinner said.
Senior midfielder Carly Goroff is going to have a huge year. She is the total package as a center, and is an incredible pure scorer, who also plays good defense.
Senior attack/midfield Natalie Crowe is a human burst of energy regardless of the role she is given. The Golden Eagles also have some impressive juniors in midfielder Melissa Lindine, defenders – Jamie Appelberg, Kerry Marques, and Maggie Parisi and sophomores Avery Collins and Stevi Dineley are starting right away.
Trumbull has all the ingredients of something special for 2013, now the only thing left for the Golden Eagles to do is put it all together and surprise people.
"Overall, we've asked more of this team in two weeks than any team I have ever been around," Spinner said. "And they are responding very well. I happen to really like this team, it's a work-in-progress but it's a good enough group that the dedication and enthusiasm is allowing a lot of great things to happen."
If Trumbull can come together and work together in the frigid temperatures in mid-March., than it can handle anything.