Sports

Perfect Birthday: Lucchese Nets Hat Trick in Win

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The Tuskers celebrate a first-half goal on their way to a 7-0 halftime lead. Credits: Rob DiAntonio
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SOMERS, N.Y.— Teagan Lucchese couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present.

The junior netted three goals and dished out an assist and Somers’ girls lacrosse team cruised to a 14-2 win over rival John Jay-Cross River on April 12.

Senior Livy Rosenzweig had a game-high five goals and added two assists to pace the Tuskers, which improved to 5-1 against a team they defeated in the Section 1 Class B semifinals last year.

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“It was a huge surprise,” Somers coach Jaime Pryschlak said of the blowout win. “It’s always a big rivalry and it’s a league game. For these games, the teams get excited and come in pumped up. Being so early in the season, you don’t really know who the threats are (on the other team). It’s kind of hard to scout. We had to focus on ourselves and we had heard that they beat Niskayuna, which is a powerhouse, and lost to Guilderland—another powerhouse—by two goals. We came in with excitement and knew we couldn’t take them lightly.”

Just 45 seconds into the game, Rosenzweig started the scoring spree on a feed from Lucchese. The junior attacker then added a goal of the unassisted variety to make it 2-0 with 15:25 left in the first half.

Rosenzweig found Emma Kittredge for the next goal. Just 13 seconds later, Lucchese scored her second of the day on a low bouncer after a pass from Sophia Fiorino to make it 4-0.

“I couldn’t do it without my team,” said Lucchese, who turned 17. “They always have my back. We came in not knowing what (John Jay) was going to be like and we took all our positive energy from our warm-ups and just incorporated it into the first half. We thought they were going to come out a lot harder and it was going to be very close, but we just kept racking up the goals and we really worked together.”

Senior Hannah Tiso then set up Lauren Colavito to extend the lead to 5-0 as the Tuskers scored three goals in just 31 seconds.

Tiso and Rosenzweig added unassisted goals before halftime and the Tuskers went into the break with a commanding 7-0 lead.

“We know it’s a league game so we wanted to get on the board as fast as possible and try to build a cushion,” Rosenzweig said. “This isn’t a team that you can get up on and let them come back. We definitely weren’t expecting (to win 14-2). They’re a young team—I think they’re mostly sophomores so they’ll probably be better in the future. Last year they were a good team as mostly freshmen so we knew we had to come out hard.”

Pryschlak delivered that message at halftime that they couldn’t ease up with the large lead against a team like John Jay.

“All you have to do is give them one chance and one little opportunity to get the momentum and they’re going to run with it,” Pryschlak said. “It’s a good boost, but when we play them again the second time I can guarantee it won’t be like that.”

Thirty-two seconds into the second half the Tuskers seized the momentum and it was the icing on the cake for Lucchese as she completed her hat trick on a feed from Rosenzweig.

Kittredge scored her second goal and capped off the scoring for Somers, making it 14-0 with 11:10 remaining on a feed from Fiorino.

The Tuskers owned the draw circle and were in control of possession for the majority of the game.

“It started with the draw,” Rosenzweig said. “We won a lot of the draw controls and that helped us going to the offensive end. We were smart on offense and if we did turn it over our re-defending today was really good, so we got the ball back.”

The John Jay Indians didn’t score their first goal until there were four minutes left in the game in what was a dominant defensive effort from the Tuskers.

“We’re looking to solidify our defense and today we did a nice job,” Pryschlak said.

Senior Jess Monaco made five saves and Michelle Croen stopped three shots to preserve the win.

“Our defense and our goalies played really well,” Rosenzweig said. “We stayed in our regular defense—our home defense. We just knew what we had to do and the slides were there. We communicated really well so I think that was our key. Jess and Michelle played amazing in goal.”

Tiso finishes with two goals and two assists. Fiorino added a goal and an assist, while Katie Campbell had two assists.

After a season-opening loss to Bronxville, the Tuskers have rattled off five-straight wins and appear to be on track.

“At first it was tough because they’re not here anymore,” Lucchese said of graduating key players from last season. “Our captains really turned that around and we now understand this is a serious thing—this is the varsity level and you shouldn’t take it as a joke.”

Somers had over a week off before its next game when it hosts Lakeland/Panas at 4:30 p.m. today.

“We have a lot of depth and our players are ready to step in and fill those positions,” Pryschlak said. “They’re starting to jell at this point in the season. The loss to Bronxville—with the crazy preseason we had—we had a lot of pieces to pick up going forward. Every day that we have practice, they come in and they’re focused. They know what we need to work on to be successful and every game we’re just looking to build off that.”

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