YORKTOWN. N.Y. — The last three years Yorktown has had incredible seasons but each one has ended in the same heartbreaking fashion — in the Section 1 final.
Last year the Huskers lost as the top seed to No. 2 Somers, 10-9, at Torne Valley Stadium in Rockland County to finish with a stellar 17-2 mark.
“We have had some bad breaks over the years, but we need to continue to believe in each other and keep striving for the title,” Yorktown senior captain Katie Comerford said. “I believe we have the team to do so and we will never quit.”
The Huskers, who last won the Class B crown in 2011, will have to replace the production of three talented players now playing in college in two-time All-American Emily Concialdi (University of Southern California) and Nikki Prestiano and Emma Kaishian, who are both playing at Manhattan College.
“Talent and leadership from those three are always hard to replace but we are hopeful that our new players will rise and contribute significantly,” said Comerford, an All-American, who will play at Villanova University next year.
Seniors, All-American Casey Duff (Syracuse University), and Ashley Stilo (University of Virginia), will join Comerford as captains.
“We are fortunate to have Ashley Stilo and Casey Duff as captains,” Comerford said. “The three of us have played multiple sports together since we were young, so it is enjoyable. We need to lead through example of hard work and discipline. We need to be vocal leaders and be supportive.”
Comerford, who displays excellent stick work and has a great shot, Rilea Fusco (Syracuse University) and Michelle Seger (Boston University) will lead the Husker attack along with Julia Cook (University of Scranton).
“Rilea Fusco and Michelle Seger are juniors who we will rely on for scoring, passing and creating turnovers,” Comerford said. “We also have Julia Cook who is a senior and a complete team player, with outstanding effort and unselfish play.”
Providing leadership at midfield will be Duff and Stilo, while Ciara Frawley (Cornell University) is also expected to produce at this position.
“We have Ashley and Casey, whose contributions over the years speak volumes,” Comerford said. “They are fast, skilled and like to win. We also have Ciara, who is a sophomore and a future star.”
Defensively, the Huskers will be anchored by a talented trio in seniors Marykate Murphy and Caileigh Lampersberger (Manhattan College) and junior Carli Mager (Ohio State University).
“The defenders provide the team with the right coverage scheme,” Comerford said, “and the ability to move the ball forward in transition.”
Looking to replace Prestiano in goal will be seniors Catherine Calidonna and Madison Drezek and junior Lexi DelBene.
“We have multiple options for goalie this year,” Comerford said. “We are hoping for them to provide energy and effort.”
Senior Sara Mongno (Swarthmore College) is another talented Husker who will be playing at the next level.
Coaching the Huskers is veteran coach Ellen Mager with her assistants being Lauren McCauley, Sarah Scott and Kelsey Sickles.
“We have a great coach and coaching staff,” Comerford said. “They work hard and try and put us in a position to win.”
The Huskers will look for a win when they open the season at home against Arlington at 12:30 p.m. on March 26.
“We need to control the ball,” Comerford said. “We have experience and maturity on our team and if we play to our ability we should start the season in a positive way.”