The South Fork Islanders boys lacrosse team will experience a significant change in just its third season this year, but the coaching staff is hoping it will be a boost for the team.
The Islanders—a team comprised of players from Southampton, East Hampton, Pierson, Bridgehampton and the Ross School—have moved from Division II into Division I. While the numbers might indicate otherwise, Division I likely gives the team a better chance to be competitive, as many of the county’s strongest programs play in Division II.
South Fork has been ranked 21 out of 23 teams to start the season, meaning it will still face an uphill battle if it wants to claim one of the 12 playoff spots. But head coach Matt Babb believes his squad is better than its preseason ranking, and isn’t ruling out the possibility that his team could surprise some squads.
“We believe we can compete with most, if not all, of the teams on our schedule,” he said. “We have a chance to finish with an above .500 record and maybe even earn a playoff berth. If we remain focused, disciplined and play the way we know we can, it is doable.”
On defense, the Islanders will be led by Pierson sophomore goalie Hudson Brindle, who returns for his second season as a starter. He will lead an entirely new defense, as the team’s entire starting lineup on that end of the field has graduated.
Southampton senior Jackson Marcincuk, a midfielder last year, steps back to lead the defense this season, alongside East Hampton junior Jonathan Batista, Southampton junior Chris Cardel, and East Hampton sophomore Aiden Cooper. East Hampton senior Jack Ulrich will be the team’s primary longstick midfielder, while East Hampton junior Anthony Avila and Southampton junior Scott Healey will also play important roles on defense.
On attack, the Islanders will rely on senior captains Brian Damm and Connor Rozzi. Damm is a third-year starter from East Hampton who led the team in scoring last year, while Rozzi is a four year starter. East Hampton junior Morgan Segelken, and Southampton sophomores Zac Mobius, Andre Aponte, Lucas Martin and Jai Agolia will also play key roles on attack and in the midfield.
The midfield will be led primarily by senior captain Cole Shaw, a third year starter from East Hampton who was second on the team in groundballs last season. The team will also be bolstered by All-County sophomore captain Luke Marro, a Southampton student and three-year starter who was second on the team in goals and points last season and led the team in groundballs.
East Hampton junior Logan Gurney returns for his third year on varsity, while Southampton sophomore Cooper Brindle is back for a second year on varsity and will also be key in the midfield. East Hampton senior Henry Johnston will be used primarily as a short-stick defensive midfielder, and senior midfielder Logan Gates looks strong so far as a face-off specialist.
South Fork is scheduled to start the season this Friday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Southampton High School against Port Jefferson in a non-league game.
After a one-win campaign last season, the East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton/Ross girls lacrosse team is hoping to take a step forward and continue to improve.
After a one-year hiatus, Jessica Sanna is back to lead the team that was ranked 23rd out of 24 teams in Division II. She expects her squad to have competitive games with other young and developing programs, like Hampton Bays, Center Moriches, Port Jefferson and Bellport.
On attack, the team will be led by Pierson senior Sophia Bitis, who is committed to playing at Chapman next year. Pierson sophomore Grace Perello is another key player on attack. A trio of underclassmen will be the top players in the midfield, including sophomores Anna Hugo and Asha Hokanson and Pierson eighth-grader Emma Rascelles. Senior Kenvely Munoz will anchor the defense, along with sophomore goalie Rorey Murphy.
Sanna’s goal for the season is simple: “We are a growing program looking to build some consistency and momentum,” she said. “Our players have been working hard on their conditioning and skills. We are looking to get some wins, to learn more about the game, and to have the players enjoy it.”
The Lady Bonackers start the season at home against Stony Brook on March 19 at 4:30 p.m. in a non-league match.