Westhampton Beach Girls Lacrosse Looks To Defend LIC Title Despite Move to Class C - 27 East

Southampton Sports

Westhampton Beach Girls Lacrosse Looks To Defend LIC Title Despite Move to Class C

icon 10 Photos
Senior co-captain Reilly Mahon, a midfielder and defender, carries the ball into Comsewogue's zone during her team's Suffolk County Class B championship win last season. RON ESPOSITO

Senior co-captain Reilly Mahon, a midfielder and defender, carries the ball into Comsewogue's zone during her team's Suffolk County Class B championship win last season. RON ESPOSITO

Freshman attack Ava Derby scores off a diving shot during last year's Long Island Championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Freshman attack Ava Derby scores off a diving shot during last year's Long Island Championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Brie Provenzano looks to make a play during last year's Class B Long Island championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Brie Provenzano looks to make a play during last year's Class B Long Island championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Senior defender Isabella Blanco, who scored the Long Island Class B championship game-winning goal in the sixth overtime session last year, will co-captain the team this season. RON ESPOSITO

Senior defender Isabella Blanco, who scored the Long Island Class B championship game-winning goal in the sixth overtime session last year, will co-captain the team this season. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore defender Lily Graves carries the ball up the sideline during the Suffolk County Class B championship game last season. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore defender Lily Graves carries the ball up the sideline during the Suffolk County Class B championship game last season. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Reese King winds up to take a shot during last season's Suffolk County Class B championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Reese King winds up to take a shot during last season's Suffolk County Class B championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore goalkeeper Maya Farnan makes a save during the Suffolk County Class B championship game last season. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore goalkeeper Maya Farnan makes a save during the Suffolk County Class B championship game last season. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Reese King shoots the ball during last year's Class B Long Island championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Sophomore attack Reese King shoots the ball during last year's Class B Long Island championship win. RON ESPOSITO

Senior co-captain Reilly Mahon, a midfielder and defender, shoots and scores during the Long Island Class B championship game last year. RON ESPOSITO

Senior co-captain Reilly Mahon, a midfielder and defender, shoots and scores during the Long Island Class B championship game last year. RON ESPOSITO

Freshman attack Ava Derby carries the ball up the field in the state semifinal game last season. TODD MICHALEK

Freshman attack Ava Derby carries the ball up the field in the state semifinal game last season. TODD MICHALEK

Desirée Keegan on Mar 22, 2023

The Westhampton Beach girls lacrosse team may be moving from Class B to the competitive Class C this season, but that won’t stop the reigning Long Island champions from making a push to get back to the state tournament.

“We want to always take the next step for this program,” said sophomore midfielder Reese King. “We are setting big goals again this season. Moving back to Class C, we will have to work harder than last year to be as successful, but we know how it feels to win and to lose, and we are comfortable playing with one another. We want to continue to develop as a team and accomplish big things.”

The returning starter, who reenters the draw circle and recorded 52 points on 43 goals and nine assists last season, said what’s different this year compared to last is that she and her teammates have more defined roles. She said an infusion of young talent should also prove beneficial.

“We trust each other and have great chemistry,” King said. “We are working on having a strong defense that works as one unit and an offense that shares the ball well with one another. Obviously, one of our strengths is our experience from last season and using that momentum that we built as fuel for this season.”

Head coach Mary Bergmann said she’s seen an excitement about the schedule among the 19 returners.

“The girls know what we expect of them and what they expect of each other,” she said. “We proved we have what it takes to handle adversity very well last year. These girls never quit, ever. We know nothing is impossible and we also have respect for the teams that we are playing. What it comes down to is showing up every day, getting better and making the most of our opportunities. We can only control how we play and how we act each time we step foot on the field, and this is what we are going to focus on this year.”

The team has always moved between classes B and C, and what helps the Hurricanes is they face the top “C” teams like Bayport-Blue Point, Mt. Sinai, Rocky Point and Shoreham-Wading River each year.

“I also feel there isn’t as much pressure being in the same class and being ‘the reigning champs,’” Bergmann said. “We aren’t the reigning champs in this class and we have to prove ourselves. … Our goal is obviously to get back to playoffs, but we aren’t entitled to anything, and neither is anyone else in our class. Making it to May is a privilege and needs to be earned.”

“Still, I believe that this change is good for the development of our program,” Farnan said. “We are thrilled to take on the new challenges that Class C brings us.”

King said everyone will need to step up their game to fill the roles of the girls who graduated, like attackers Olivia Rongo (69 points on 42 goals and 27 assists last year) and Lily Berchin (13 points on nine goals and four assists, including a few crucial game-winners), midfielder Ciara Byrne and defenders Mia Failla and Madison Mosher.

“Everyone, including myself, has to raise their level of play, because those girls we graduated were major contributors for us,” King said.

Freshman midfielder and attack Ava Derby — 36 points on 26 goals and 10 assists last season — said thankfully, the girls who left at the end of last season taught the underclassmen a lot.

“The seniors could not have been better,” she said. “They showed us how to be the best role models.”

“The five players that we lost each had a unique impact on the rest of the team, and make us want to push forward from our success from last season,” sophomore goalkeeper Maya Farnan added. “Olivia Rongo especially had a big impact on making my first year on varsity, an experience that I will never forget. Our five graduates left big shoes to fill, but I feel that our team depth will be very strong.”

The goalie, who made 170 saves last season, also said the returning players have a unique connection and trust in each other.

“We had a strong group of young players last year, and those girls have worked very hard in the offseason to push the overall quality of the team on defense and offense,” Farnan said. “Practices have really emphasized mixing in the first-year varsity players to see which girls work best together. Everyone wants to feel the same excitement that we did last season, but it is a new year, and I can’t wait to grow and develop alongside a great group of girls.”

Her defense include juniors Katie Lanning and Madison Maire, sophomore Hailey Donahoe and freshmen Caeden Dorn and Maiya Boughal.

“Hailey Donahoe should be a huge asset,” Farnan said. “Katie Lanning and Madison Maire have a lot to bring to the table with their lacrosse IQ and skill, and young guns Caeden Dorn and Maiya Boughal have big potential.”

Derby said what also helps is that so many girls compete on travel teams with each other in the offseason, with the Long Island Yellow Jackets and Legacy Lacrosse.

“It’s also great because we are so positive and supportive of each other,” the freshman said. “We pick each other up after mistakes and learn from them.”

King, Farnan and Derby along with seniors Isabella Blanco, Reilly Mahon and Sam Schaumloffel, junior Kenzie Schindler and sophomores Lily Graves and Brie Provenzano are returning starters. Juniors Aine Byrne, Chloe Mosher, Gabby Wendel and Peyton Worby, and sophomores Hailey Donahoe, Joely Schaumloffel and Meaghan Tufano will look to have even more impactful minutes this season. Eighth-grade goalie Mia Brown is new to the team. Mahon, who co-captained the team last year, will do so again with Blanco and senior Emily Galovic.

“The amount of talent we have on this team is the best it has been in years,” Bergmann said. “We are looking to be well-rounded on attack and defense, so it is harder to scout us.”

King said offseason improvements will also be key. She, personally, did a lot of speed and strength training with some of her teammates. Derby said she’s been working on finding the perfect opportunities on offense, instead of forcing things. Farnan said she’s also done a lot of training both in-goal and on how to be a better teammate.

“I think our team is ready and very eager to kick off this season,” the goaltender said. “I, personally, am very excited to enter this season with a great group of girls. The love for the game from each girl on this team makes playing and practicing with them so fun.”

After losing both her mother and father last fall, and two other coaches losing theirs in the last two years, Bergmann said this season will be dedicated to the parents.

“You’ll see one of our Hurricane flags was changed to teal and purple, which are the colors the girls wore in their hair last year to support me and my parents,” the coach said. “We wanted to use that symbol to recognize all parents, guardians and supporters that have helped our players get to where they are today. Even through the worst times and hardest adversity, it is important to find the positives.”

And Derby said she and her teammates are ready to fight to represent them and the district proudly.

“We will definitely have a chip on our shoulders while playing each and every game,” Derby said, “We are determined to hold down our LIC title.”

You May Also Like:

Lily Strebel Finishes Eighth in 5K at New Balance Nationals Outdoor; Sofia Galvan Represents Baymen at Nike Outdoor Nationals

Westhampton Beach junior Lily Strebel ran in the 5K championship race at the New Balance ... 18 Jun 2024 by Drew Budd

Southampton Town United Hosts its Annual Festival

The Southampton Town United Soccer Club held its annual soccer festival at Southampton High School ... by Staff Writer

Westhampton All-American Distance Runner Trevor Hayes Headed to Naval Academy

Trevor Hayes has run through every obstacle in his way. Whether it be illness, injury, ... by Desirée Keegan

James Quattlebaum Tops Nearly 900-Runner Field in Shelter Island 10K

With over 1,500 runners crossing the finish line of the Shelter Island 10K and 5K ... by Drew Budd

Danny Tateo Wins Third Annual Beacon of Hope 5K in Montauk

Three races, three champions. Danny Tateo won the third annual Beacon of Hope 5K in ... by Drew Budd

Whalers Top Breakers in Their Season Opener

The Sag Harbor Whalers opened the 2024 season at home at Mashashimuet Park with a ... by Drew Budd

Southampton Breakers Take HCBL Season Opener Over Reigning Champs South Shore Clippers

Luke Fisher made the most of his Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League debut. Hitting in the ... by Drew Budd

Aviators Top Clippers in Their Season Opener

The Westhampton Aviators, in their season opener on Friday, avenged their loss to the South Shore Clippers in last year’s HCBL Championships Series with an 11-8 victory. Westhampton led, 5-0, through two innings before South Shore got itself on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the third. After the Aviators responded with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the third, the Clippers pulled within one run of the lead with four runs in the fifth. But that would be as close as they would get. Westhampton scored a pair of ... by Drew Budd

Milo Tompkins Plays Final Baseball Game in Bryan Bonin Grand Slam Challenge

Milo Tompkins thought his baseball career was over following the Bridgehampton/Ross team’s 7-5 loss to ... 14 Jun 2024 by Drew Budd

Zach Berger Finishes Top 10 at State Federation Championships

Zach Berger reached the New York State Federation Boys Golf Championships as an alternate and ... 11 Jun 2024 by Drew Budd