What will DOBBS FERRY’s Julia Schwabe do for an encore after her spectacular 2019 season, when she finished with 122 points? Schwabe missed her junior season last spring when the pandemic shut down high school sports. Still, that did not stop the University of Michigan from making Schwabe an offer, which she accepted.
Schwabe will be the focal point of opposing defenses, but she is far from the only offensive threat for head coach Connor Cohn.
“Our returning midfielders will be the strength of the team,” Cohn said. “We have three of our four senior captains on the midfield,” referring to Schwabe, Ashley O'Connor (25 goals and 20 assists in 2019), and Samantha Horsfield, who, according to Cohn, “had a strong 2019 varsity season for Ursuline and will be back in Dobbs for her senior season.”
He continued, “Adeline Haddad and Madeline Brunenavs are juniors who are the top returning attackers this season. Both got on the scoresheet in 2019 and are expected to be strong contributors.”
Add to that mix Kendall Krauss and Jacqueline O’Connor.
“We have only had a few days of practice, but Kendall Krauss is a 10th-grade attacker who has looked good in practice, and Jacqueline O'Connor is a sophomore whose dynamic athletic skills will enable her to help us on both offense and defense, giving the three main midfielders rest as well,” Cohn said.
On defense, Colleen Sweeting and Talia Reith lead the way. However, a question mark remains in goal.
“We are not settled there yet,” the coach said. “This is our greatest area of improvement needed.”
Cohn believes his eight seniors are the strength of this year’s Eagles.
“They have all won a lot of games in their varsity careers and have been through a lot in high school,” he said. “We are gearing up to make this a special season for them.”
“The team goals are to win our league and win a sectional tournament game,” he added. “However, the sky's the limit. We teach our athletes to believe in themselves and strive for greatness.”
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ARDSLEY head coach Siobhan McAvoy hopes to see consistent improvement from her team.
In goal, she is turning to Tanya Shukla to be the main shot-blocker, with Caley Navins leading the defense.
The midfield and attack are athletic and include Morgan Fodiman, Emily Fitzsimmons, and Lily Moskowitz, while newcomer Mia Ward appears ready to make an impact at either position.
“The strength of our team is our speed and ability to transition the ball up and down the field,” McAvoy said. “We are a young team with many newcomers to the sport, so we will need to develop our understanding of the game and utilize teamwork, commitment, and discipline to achieve our goals.”
She added, “We want to develop our stick skills and understanding of the game so we are playing at a level that will enable us to win our first round of sectionals.”
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HASTINGS head coach Liz Falco is optimistic that her program is heading in the right direction.
“We had an impressive turnout of underclassmen this year and are hoping to really build the lacrosse program,” she said. “As for specific new players, freshman Alexa Polokoff and eighth-grader Sophie Ballard have been turning it up at practice.”
In goal, either Olivia Siedenburg or Vivian Smith will get the call. On defense, Chole Caraballo and Jess Higgins will lead the way, while Falco is hoping for an impact from Sophie Mines.
Meanwhile, Sharin Clarke-Deutsch, Kate Ryan, Livi Seidenberg, and Ava Nelson are expected to carry the load at midfield, though it would not be a surprise to see one or two slide down to attack.
“I believe the veteran seniors will be our strength,” Falco said. “Their last season was as sophomores. They know the teamwork, dedication, and commitment needed to be successful. Their leadership at practice has been great to see. We have some speed, and hope to see some fast breaks to the goal.”
She continued, “Success will only occur with the team keeping a positive attitude and being able to bounce back after a loss. With the condensed season, senior leadership expressing a team-first attitude is also imperative.”
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“Due to the lost season last spring, we basically have a brand-new squad coming into this season,” IRVINGTON head coach Pat DiBenedetto said, noting that he has three returners from the 2019 campaign — Áine Cleary, Hannah Tuckett, and Sara Gavagan.
As a result, DiBenedetto is looking for newcomers to step up. Among them are Jordan Lenz and Scarlett Whitney in goal; Sofia Perrone, Sydney Birkhahn, Amanda Raimondo, and Emmaline LeBuhn on defense; Kayla Mizrachi, Grace Brady, and Tess Davidowitz at midfield; and Charlotte Calick, Claire Brady, Alissa Shpati, Carleigh Taylor, and Malka Halliwell on attack.
“The strength of the team is the solid leadership from our captains — Aine, Hannah, Kayla [Mizrachi], and Charlotte [Calick] — and the team’s collective desire to play lacrosse again after so long,” DiBenedetto said. “We’re really excited to get back after last season. The athletes need to be good communicators, work together, develop their skills, and they’ll get better every day.”