YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Last year’s Class B state finalist Yorktown hosted Lakeland/Panas in the opener for both teams on March 28, with the Huskers coming away with a 15-12 victory.
“Coming into the season is always so exciting,” Yorktown senior captain Rilea Fusco said. “Being back on the field with Yorktown girls lax is what I’ve been waiting for since the season ended last year. Starting the season with a crosstown rival on our home turf was awesome. We started out strong but had some rough spots throughout the game. We’re pumped to be back and will work on the things we need to work on to make us a better team as a whole.”
Fusco (8G, 3A) and her teammates were motivated in part because of senior captain Carli Mager suffering a season-ending injury when she tore her ACL in a home scrimmage four days earlier against Chatham.
“We wear bands on our legs with the No. 7 on it for Carli and every time I look down I know that we can’t take a single second for granted, so we need to give our all at all times,” Fusco said.
Michelle Seger (3G, 1A), Ellen O’Callaghan (2G, 2A), Caroline Keenaghan (4A), Caroline Garti (1G), Kelsey McDonnell (1G), Lexi DelBene (5 saves) and Olivia DeCicco (4 saves) all helped the Huskers, who jumped out to a 10-5 halftime lead, to the victory.
“Momentum, patience, draw controls, good stops on defense and a great job by Lexi in goal helped us get that lead,” Fusco said.
The Rebels were led by Kelsey McCrudden (5G, 1A) and Emily Kness (4G, 1A).
“I believe Emily and I had many opportunities to score offensively because of our teammates help in getting us open shots through movement on attack,” McCrudden said. “We knew we had to step up with Yorktown face guarding our top returning scorer, Carlyn Mucci.”
McCrudden and her teammates were excited to start the season off against their crosstown rival.
“As a team, we realize that Yorktown is a great program and it’s fun to be challenged and play against a solid team for our season opener to jump right into season,” McCrudden said. “Playing a team like Yorktown, you don’t get as many chances as you would with another team because of their skill set so you have to make your shots count.”
Mucci (2G), Raquel Nieves (1G), Caitlyn Jackson (3 saves) and Kiera Scott (2 saves) also produced for the Rebels, who start three freshmen.
“Yorktown is not the same team as last year, but neither are we. We both had key losses,” McCrudden said. “We are a very young team, which I am very excited about and we can only get better during this season and in the years to come. It was a physical, competitive game and I believe we did a good job competing as a team.”
Rebel freshman Jenna McCrudden scored the game-winning goal, breaking a 9-9 tie, in the Rebels’ 10-9 victory at Harrison on March 29. McCrudden added an assist in the win.
Kness (4G, 2A), Carlyn Mucci (4G, 1A), Kelsey McCrudden (2A), Cara O’Shea (1G), Megan Mucci (1A), Scott (8 saves) and Jackson (1 save) also helped in the win against the Huskies.
Lakeland/Panas (2-1) won its home opener 17-4 against Beacon on March 31, led by Kelsey McCrudden (4G, 2A), Carlyn Mucci (3G, 1A), Kness (3G), Megan Mucci (2G, 1A), Kristen Kelly (2G), Arianna Dougherty (2G), Gianna Scialdone (1G), and Scott (2 saves).
The week ended with Yorktown (1-1) losing at Darien 19-4 on April 1, with Fusco (1G, 1A), Keenaghan (1G, 1A), McKenna Duff (1G), Seger (1G), Garti (1A), DelBene (9 saves) and DeCicco (1save) doing the honor for the Huskers.