YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Yorktown’s girls lacrosse team enjoyed an historic campaign last spring, winning the Section 1 Class B title by defeating rival Somers to attain its first sectional crown since 2011 and 10th overall. The Huskers reached their first New York State Public High School Athletic Association title game appearance since 2009, losing to Garden City, 16-5.
If the Huskers are to reach those lofty heights again, they will have to replace four Division 1 players in two-time All-Americans Katie Comerford (Villanova University) and Casey Duff (Syracuse University) in addition to Caileigh Lampersberger (Manhattan College) and Ashley Stilo (University of Virginia).
“The key to replacing those four Division 1 players, along with everyone else that we graduated, will be some upperclassmen taking on some more important roles and the underclassmen stepping up in their places,” Yorktown senior captain Carli Mager said. “Of course we’ll miss them, but it’s a great opportunity for people who have been waiting their turn to play a bigger role on the team.”
Rilea Fusco (Syracuse University) and Michelle Seger (Boston University) are the Huskers’ other senior captains.
“We’re hoping to lead the team with a lot of energy and make sure that everyone is always hyped up and ready to go,” Mager said. “We’re also hoping to set a good example with our work ethic since we play a very challenging schedule this year both in and out of Section 1.”
Fusco, Seger and junior Caroline Garti (Lafayette University) will lead the attack.
“Each of them brings something special to the table and they’re all great leaders on the field,” Mager said. “Rilea is a great finisher but she’s also an amazing feeder. She can pass the ball on a dime. Michelle is an amazing dodger who also can finish really well. Garti is so strong and powerful, which allows her to really be a great dodger as well.”
Junior Caroline Keenaghan (Gettysburg College) will also be expected to produce at attack.
Yorktown’s key midfielders are juniors Ciara Frawley (Cornell University) and Ellen O’Callaghan (University of Pennsylvania).
“They’re both awesome players on both sides of the ball—two really true midfielders,” Mager said. “Ciara’s defense and her ability to get the draws for our team are really strong. Ellen’s speed is incredible. She’s probably the fastest person on our team and can go by pretty much anybody.”
Leading the defense will be Mager (Ohio State University) and senior Emily Hirsch (Skidmore College).
“We’re both relatively tall, so that certainly helps on defense,” Mager said. “As the only returning starter on defense, I hope to provide a lot of leadership and poise in the clear and be a strong one vs. one defender. Emily is really good at getting groundballs and interceptions. Her speed is a great asset.”
Playing in goal this season is senior returnee Lexi DelBene and two junior newcomers, Olivia DeCicco and Bridget Murphy, who are all talented and hardworking players on a team looking to repeat last year’s success.
“I think that we have to create the same chemistry on the field that we had with last year’s team, as well as all having one common goal which we hope to achieve with coming out to practice every day 110 percent,” Mager said.
Yorktown, which is coached by head coach Ellen Mager and assistants Lauren McAulay and Sarah Scott, will open the season hosting crosstown rival Lakeland/Panas at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28.
“The key to getting off to a good start will just be to stay composed during our first few games and make sure that we have our feet underneath us,” Carli Mager said. “We’ll also need to be patient with each other since we graduated such a big role playing class. We have big shoes to fill.”