The Westhampton Beach girls soccer team will be looking to improve upon its two-win season from last year, and after a year of experience for a young team, it could very well accomplish that feat.
The Lady Hurricanes only lost three key players to graduation in Julianne Robbins, Brooke Alpert and Lauren Smith, although they were important players. Alpert and Robbins were consistently All-Conference players for the Lady Canes and will be sorely missed, but the majority of the team is returning. Forward Arianna Riemma will be heading into her senior year along with forward Kennedy Skala and goalie Kathleen Mensch, while juniors Madison Skala and Julia Strebel also return and will have big roles on defense. Hailey Daleo, who played up on varsity last season as an eighth-grader, is returning to be one of the team’s center midfielders. Freshman Jill Mapley will be the other center mid. Bronte Merrell and Emily Wichard are two sophomores up from the junior varsity who could see a good amount of playing time.
Westhampton Beach will continue to play in League V. Cross-town rival Eastport South Manor has moved up to League IV while Miller Place has come back down to the league. Sayville and Islip will once again be the top two teams to beat while Harborfields, Comsewogue and Rocky Point are also in the league.
“We have a mix of older players and younger players. We have a lot of players in new positions and stepping into roles, so how they come together is going to determine how well we do,” Westhampton Beach head coach Erika Habersaat said. “Our returning players are coming back stronger than they were before, so that should help us.”
The Lady Canes play their first game of the season on Tuesday, September 9, at home against Southold/Greenport in a non-league contest that is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. They play their first league game at Comsewogue on Friday, September 12, at 4:30 p.m.
Information on the Westhampton Beach boys soccer team was not available at press time. The Hurricanes start the season with a number of non-league games, the first on Saturday, September 6, at home against Clarke of Nassau County at 2 p.m. Two days later, on Monday, September 8, Westhampton Beach will play another non-league game at Hampton Bays at 7 p.m. The Canes don’t play their first League V game until Wednesday, September 17, at Rocky Point at 6:15 p.m.