The Hampton Bays girls lacrosse team is looking to build upon its last season, when it won a program-best three games. But it will have to do it without eight star players, who have since graduated.
Leading that list of graduates was five-year starting goalie Colette Levine, and including defenders Jennifer Andres and Karla Solano and midfielder Casi Radziul. The team will have to regroup quickly.
“We have a very young team, mostly freshmen and sophomores,” head coach Teresa Strano said. “We are looking to get the girls working together so they can play together and be successful over the next few years.”
A key returner for the Lady Baymen this season is sophomore midfielder Cassidy Moore, who was an All-County Honorable Mention last season. She scored a career-high seven goals in a hard-fought win over East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton, which set the high-mark for the program in victories. She’ll look to continue to be the main source of offense this season. Sophomore attack Sierra Gaffney and midfielder Emma Naclerio will be other options as well.
Sophomore Saorla Scully will anchor the defense and freshman Abby Hoffmann is stepping in as the team’s new goalie.
Hampton Bays was ranked 23rd out of 25 teams in Division II this season, but after spending the past few seasons in Class C, the Lady Baymen have moved down to Class D after enrollment changes, possibly making their road to their first postseason berth slightly easier—although teams such as Babylon and returning state champion Mattituck/Southold will continue to be tough. Center Moriches and Port Jefferson are also Class D schools in Division II.
Hampton Bays gets the season started with a non-league game at Copiague this Monday, March 18, at 4:30 p.m. It will host Bellport in its first home game on March 21 at 4:30 p.m.
Due to dwindling numbers in its junior and senior classes, Hampton Bays decided to pull its varsity team for the upcoming spring, Hampton Bays Athletic Director Drew Walker said. It will play a junior varsity season for what could be two seasons, at which point, Walker said, the situation will be reevaluated. The good news is that, unlike in football, seniors can play on the JV level.
“We’ll evaluate at the end of each year and see where we stand in terms of participation and we’ll make the decision based on what we think is best for the kids,” Walker said.
Hampton Bays began its varsity lacrosse programs with both boys and girls in 2013.