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Rocky Point Eagles 2011 Spring Sports Preview

The defending Suffolk County Champion girls lacrosse team looks to repeat under a new head coach.

The spring season is an important one for Rocky Point High School. Many of the school’s top athletic programs will begin competition in the coming weeks, including the defending Suffolk County Champion girls lacrosse team, who will be under the direction of a new coach in 2011. Here’s a closer look at all the varsity teams competing this spring.

Girls Lacrosse:

Last season: 18-2 - Won Long Island Class B Championship; Lost Long Island Championship

Head Coach: Jennifer Fucich (First Season)

Key Athletes: 

  • Caitlin Gargan
  • Jessica Hasset
  • Julie Nolan

Coming off a very successful season that saw the Lady Eagles play into June and capture the Suffolk County Class B title, expectations will be high once again.

Rocky Point escaped in overtime against Hauppauge to win the county title, 9-8, before losing to Garden City, 17-7. Jessica Hasset, who scored three goals against Hauppauge, and Caitlin Gargan, who had a hat trick of her own against Garden City, are two of the key players that first year head coach Jennifer Fucich expects to lead the team this season.

Gargan, a midfielder, led the Lady Eagles last season with 56 goals and 62 assists.

Julie Nolan will also be back to start in goal for Rocky Point entering her third season as the starting goaltender. She has signed to play with Adelphi next season.

The girls will jump right into league play with Mt. Sinai on Wednesday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Boys Lacrosse:

Last year: 12-5, fourth in League II, Suffolk County semi-finalists

Head Coach: Mike Bowler

Key Players:     

  • Ed Torriero – senior defenseman
  • Ryan Palasek – junior defenseman
  • Kevin Cain – senior goalie, first-year starter
  • Dan Staker – senior midfielder
  • Nick Loscalzo – senior midfielder

The Rocky Point boys lacrosse team enters the 2011 season young and inexperienced. In 2010, the Eagles went to the semifinals of the Suffolk County playoffs before they were defeated by eventual champion Comsewogue.

“Our whole thing is we really lack experience,” Bowler said. “The more we play, the better we’re going to get.”

The team – which is working in 10 new starters this season – was “a little rough around the edges” during its first few scrimmages according to Bowler.

“We’re developing and looking to get better everyday,” he said.

The team will rely heavily on a strong defensive core that includes senior Ed Torriero and junior Ryan Palsek.

“We want to be in the thick of things, we don’t want this to be a rebuilding year,” Bowler said. “It’s a bit of a work in progress.”

The boys open non-league play on Tuesday, March 22 at home at 4 p.m. against Middle Country.

Baseball:

Head Coach:   Andrew Aschettino

Last year: 14-7, eighth straight playoff appearance

Key Players:

  • Joe DeFrank
  • Rich Cambria

The baseball team is looking to continue its run of success over the last decade and make the playoffs for a ninth straight season.

“We are returning almost all of our core players,” Aschettino said.

The player on the top of the list is senior Joe DeFrank. The staff ace is also the teams' starting third baseman and one of its most productive offensive players.

DeFrank is a four-year starter who was 6-2 last year with three shutouts on the mound.

“He’s a fierce competitor who brings a lot of experience," Aschettino said. When he’s on he is our clear number one.”

The man receiving the ball from DeFrank and the rest of Rocky Point's strong pitching staff is Rich Cambria. The three-year starter was also mentioned by Aschettino as someone who will be a key player this season.

“He’s as good as anyone I’ve ever seen behind the dish,” Aschettino said. “He’s going to bat in the two-hole and handles the stick well. He’s going to be called on to move runners over and hit and run, but his experience behind the dish is priceless.”

The team will head to Eastport/South Manor for a non-league game on Monday, March 28 at 4 p.m.

Softball

Last year: 3-14

Head Coach: Lee Cirillo

Key Players:

  • Annie Kennedy – starting pitcher
  • Jessica Marcks – catcher
  • Jessie Vessichio – outfield

The Rocky Point softball program is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2010 season in which they only won three games. Second year head coach Lee Cirillo, who described the program as “in shambles” when she took over, will lean heavily on the arm of starting pitcher Annie Kennedy. Kennedy was lost to an injury last year, at which points “the wheels fell off,” Cirillo said.

Along with Kennedy, Cirillo expects contributions from Jess Marcks at catcher and Jessie Vessichio in the outfield.

“It’s been really hard getting the program back together and off the ground,” Cirillo said. “I want to say we’re about a season or two away from actually really being competitive for possibly getting to the playoffs, but we definitely have the potential. The key for us this year is to stay healthy and that will make a difference for sure.”

Girls Track:

Head Coach: Nicole Dunn

Key Athletes:

  • Angela Torriero- 200m, 400m, 4x400
  • Amanda Pfister- 100m, 4x100, Long Jump
  • Rachel Wooley- Racewalk
  • Paisley Bittner- Triple Jump
  • Jessica Kenyon- 1500, 3000, 4x800
  • Jenn Blakley- 15500, 3000, 4x800

“We had some athletes who ran personal best times that competed with the top in the county,” Dunn said. “We are going to continue to only improve and get stronger.”

Dunn also mentioned that her team has a solid senior class that sets a good example for the younger athletes.

“As a team, we are excited to see what the season has in store for us and to continue to make positive memories,” she said.

The teams' first meet is at home at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 against East Hampton.

Boys Track:

Head Coach: Christopher Donadoni

Key Athletes:

  • Kevin Vasko
  • Zack LeCates
  • Tommy Wheeler
  • Kyle Berkowski

The boys track team will compete in League VI for the first time and face off against some whas Donadoni says will be tougher competition.

“As a young team with half of my athletes as freshmen I am hoping to build strength and experience for years to come,” he said.

Donadoni said that Vasko will compete in the long jump, 100-meters, the 4x4 and the 4x1. During the winter season, Vasko finished first in the Stanner Games at the Armory, first at the league meet and set a new school record with a jump of 22’ 8.25”.

LaCates also placed first at the league championship in the 1600-meters, running a time of 1:26.21.

Their first meet will be at East Hampton on Wednesday, March 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Find complete schedules on our events calendar and SectionXI.org.

 

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