The Eastport South Manor girls lacrosse team doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon after picking up two more convincing victories last week. The Lady Sharks won, 11-2, at Babylon on April 16, then returned home Saturday to defeat Miller Place, 11-4.
The victories improved ESM to a flawless 8-0 record with 150.96 power points, which is good enough for second place in Division II. Mount Sinai, also undefeated at 8-0, is in first place with 158.52 power points, but the Lady Mustangs are a Class C team and won’t factor into the Class B playoffs, which the Lady Sharks will compete in later this season.
Babylon was ranked as one of the top teams in Suffolk County earlier this season, but it lost its top player in All-American Shelby Fredericks to a torn ACL. Fredericks has committed to play at Northwestern next year.
ESM took advantage of Fredericks’ absence by focusing even more on its defense and slowing down its attack. Babylon tallied the first goal of the game but then only scored one more goal and was shut out in the second half. ESM had a 5-2 lead by halftime and used a 6-0 second half to cruise to victory.
ESM’s starting defense of seniors Rebecca Tooker, Megan Curley, Vanessa Amendola and junior Natalie Fuccillo and junior goalie Sam Giacolone got a lot of credit from head coach Becky Thorn for the win. As a unit, they were able to force Babylon to make bad shots and it led to a somewhat easy day in goal for Giacolone, who made just four saves.
The Huff sisters continue to direct ESM’s offense. Freshman Kelsey Huff scored five goals and an assist while her older sister Kaeli, a sophomore, scored two goals. Senior Kristen Anderson added three goals, but Kelsey and Kaeli Huff have taken the reins since the loss of Dakota Mason to injury before the season started.
“Kaeli has been with us since she was an eighth-grader, but this year I’ve given her the responsibility of controlling the attack,” Thorn explained. “In the past she’s worked with girls like Dene DiMartino and Allison Gionta, where she hasn’t really had to control much. But now with Dakota out, Kaeli is controlling the attack and it’s worked out so far.
“And Kelsey is the type of player where if she sees something isn’t going right, she’ll say, ‘Give me the ball, I’ll take care of it,’” she added. “She’s got more spitfire to her game.”
Miller Place scored the first two goals on Saturday and scored all four of its goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Lady Sharks rebounded and took a 6-4 lead by the time Miller Place called a timeout before the end of the first half, but Thorn said her team looked down.
“They had their heads elsewhere,” she said of her players. “I don’t think they were focused on the game. They totally left our game plan defensively, but following the timeout they called, we held them scoreless.”
Anderson, senior Jackie Wasilko and juniors Corie Hack and Allyson Tolken scored two goals each. With the Huff sisters being double-teamed the entire game, Thorn said, Hack and Tolken stepped up and did well.
On Saturday, ESM will be hosting the Long Island Challenge, which pits teams from Long Island and Connecticut against each other for single, non-league games. It was started eight years ago and had been held at Farmingdale High School the past two seasons. This weekend ESM will be hosting Mount Sinai, Cold Spring Harbor and Northport from Long Island and Danbury, Greenwich, New Canaan and Wilton from Connecticut. The Lady Sharks play Danbury at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The ESM boys lacrosse team lost, 10-6, at home to Penfield in a non-league game on April 16. Penfield is in upstate New York and is a suburb of Rochester.
The Patriots held a 7-3 lead over the Sharks heading into the fourth and final quarter, where each team scored three goals. Tyler Weiss scored twice for ESM, which is 3-3 in Division II, 3-5 overall, with 107.15 power points.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Girls—Tuesday, 4/22, vs. Sayville; Saturday, 4/26, Long Island Challenge, 10 a.m.; Wednesday, 4/30, at Mount Sinai, 7 p.m.
Boys—Wednesday, 4/23, vs. Miller Place; Saturday, 4/26, vs. Westhampton Beach, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 4/29, at Comsewogue, 4:30 p.m.