GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s Audrey Hoeg trying to pass a Deer Park defender during Saturday’s game at Deer Park High School.
FALCONS 15, TUCKERS 12
Whether it’s as a goal scorer or an assist maker, it’s common for a Hoeg to figure in the scoring for the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold girls lacrosse team. Sometimes it’s a Hoeg-to-Hoeg connection for a goal, but the point is, a Hoeg is usually involved in there somewhere, and that’s just fine with the Tuckers.
The two freshmen, Audrey Hoeg and Katie Hoeg, are not only cousins, but they also happen to be the team’s top two offensive threats.
Audrey plays attack and Katie is a midfielder. The two agree that Audrey is more on the shy side while Katie is more outgoing. There is no resemblance between the Hoegs that would hint that they are related.
Perhaps the biggest similarity they share is the impact they bring when they step onto a lacrosse field.
To say that the Hoegs are vital to Mattituck/Greenport/Southold would not be too much. Tuckers coach Julie Milliman undoubtedly wouldn’t want to think about what life for her team would be like without them.
“We definitely rely on them heavily,” she said. “They’re both just critical players. Together, they’re kind of like the motor of our team.”
A typical example of what the Hoegs can do for the Tuckers was seen Saturday when every goal but one in a 15-12 loss at Deer Park High School was scored by the cousins. Katie Hoeg registered 7 goals from 9 shots and had 2 assists while Audrey Hoeg put up 4 goals and 2 assists. They combined three times for goals. The only goal a Hoeg didn’t score for the Tuckers was provided by Tricia Brisotti.
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Katie Hoeg charging forward before scoring one of her 7 goals against Deer Park.
“They’re definitely both impact players,” Milliman said. “Katie controls more of the midfield and she plays a lot of good ‘D’ for us, and on attack she’s awesome. And Audrey’s kind of actually taken on a new role this year. We kind of just rely on her for some assists and some feeds up front. She causes a lot of turnovers [by] the other team. I have definitely seen both of them evolve into more complete players this year.”
That may help explain why the Tuckers (4-6, 3-5 Division II), in their fourth varsity season, have more wins in a season than they ever had before.
Mattituck/Greenport/Southold led for much of Saturday’s game before Deer Park scored 6 straight goals as part of a paralyzing 9-1 run in the second half that gave the Falcons a 15-10 lead. Nicolette Tortorici bagged 3 of her 4 goals during that decisive spurt. She also had 2 assists.
Deer Park (3-5, 2-4), which snapped a five-game losing streak, also received 3 goals each from Shannon Doolan and Hailey Leitch. Kaylan DiModugno contributed 2 goals and 3 assists to the victory and Jordan Lazarich added 2 goals and 1 assist.
Mattituck/Greenport/Southold never trailed until Tortorici scored on a free-position shot to break a 9-9 tie with 10 minutes 48 seconds left in the game.
“We had the momentum in the first half, and then they just took over,” said Katie Hoeg.
It was almost as if Deer Park flipped a switch.
“I’m proud of my girls that they were able to come together at halftime and, you know, really go out and play it all out,” Deer Park coach Anthony Saccone said. “They buckled down and did what they needed to do.”
Deer Park also put more pressure on the Hoegs, who at times found themselves covered by two or even three players. As the Hoegs have improved their game and gained more notoriety, partly through their play for a club team, the Long Island Elite Yellow Jackets, they have had to contend with the reality of more defensive attention and face guarding.
“It’s really frustrating, but I get used to it,” Katie Hoeg said. “We have ways to break it. I’m getting used to it by now.”
Both Hoegs come from lacrosse families. Audrey’s father, Tom, and Katie’s father, James, who is the Tuckers’ assistant coach, both played lacrosse for Smithtown. Tom also played college ball for William & Mary.
The cousins started playing when they were in first or second grade, developing different playing styles along the way.
“She’s more finesse, more sneaky,” Katie said, “and I’m more, just like I’ll say, a bull.”
Both styles work for the cousins, who share a passion for lacrosse, and a knack for putting the ball in the net.