Highlanders lacrosse women hit strong stride

Hyram Landers

Not since Bea Toner’s squads of the late 60s and early 70s have the Lady Highlanders asserted themselves so well on the lacrosse field. 

Sure, there have been a few changes to the game. There were no boundaries to speak of back then, only terrain features (big savings on line paint), and the sticks were made of wood, gut and leather, but the spirit remains the same.

Twenty-seven young ladies were split into a varsity (14) and a JV (13) leaving plenty of opportunity for game time experience for all. The varsity was seeded 12th in their 15-team league. By the time that the nets had been put away they had fashioned an 8-4 league record (six of the victories by only one goal), finished in third place, and made their second playoff appearance in recent history.

The seniors really came through. Katie Rahill, a three year starter on attack is a two-time all-conference player who scored over 100 goals in her career. 

Melissa Reime, a two-year starter on defense was awarded an Unsung Hero honor by Nassau County and is on her way to Quinnipiac next year. Ashley Quinto, another two-year starter on defense, the most improved player on the team is headed to NYU. Amanda Carr, a two-year starter on attack, “an ultimate glue kid” who pulls things together will be taking her 4.0 GPA to Geneseo.

Sabrina Telmo (jr) scored a team high 40 goals this year, and was awarded Honorable Mention All-County. She had been a defensive player until this season, and apparently knew what she had to beat. Claire Lanzo (jr) scored 37 goals and is All-Conference. Victoria Marano (jr), a hard-nosed two-year player, and Barbara Nichtas (so) a smart, tough, three-sport athlete (another glue kid) both received all-conference honors.

Coach Glenn Lavey’s staff consisted of his varsity assistant, Debbie Masterson, who was a part of five state championships while coaching at Garden City during the 90s, and JV Coach (Herricks alumnus) Lyndsey DeSarbo, whose team finished 9-5.

“This season was truly a team effort,” Coach Lavey noted. “We did not have one player who consistently stood out above the rest of the team. Everyone played very hard and knew their role.”

Prima donnas rarely, if ever, make the difference in achieving team success. Coach Lavey has high praise for the “glue kids”, a distinction originated by head wrestling coach Cliff Forziat. These are the team members who come every day doing whatever job needs getting done for the sakes of their friends and their team. Without them, stars have no stage upon which to perform. They are loyal, industrious, reliable, and their contributions are absolutely essential for any team to have success.

Coach Lavey had this to say about his seniors (super glue?). “They deserve much of the credit for getting the girls to buy into the new program. I challenged them to leave their mark. They sacrificed a lot of personal attention for the good of the team, and they made the playoffs as seniors.” 

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