Clippers will rely on Reed, defense

Greenport/Southold/Shelter Island Coach Todd Gulluscio and goalie Alexis Reed shared a laugh during a game last year.

Todd Gulluscio, the coach of the Greenport/Southold/Shelter Island Clippers field hockey team, knows his team has the potential to be good, real good. The key will be whether or not the Clippers put it all together.

Last year the Clippers went 5-10-1, 4-10 in Suffolk County Division III. Despite losing many of his experienced goal scorers to graduation, Gulluscio is still optimistic and said defense will be the key this season. “In the spring season, we didn’t allow a goal until the semifinals,” Gulluscio said. “Continuing to play good defense and limiting turnovers are so important for us.”

The Clippers, who are seeded 11th out of the division’s 12 teams, will be led by junior goalie Alexis Reed and junior center midfielder Lauren Ficurilli. Gulluscio said both players have been impressive in practice.

Also returning are senior forwards Callie Bubb, Heather Gadomski and Kristie Moschetta, along with junior forward Kerri Hands, junior midfielders Sarah Manfredi and Erin Creedon, and junior sweeper Megan Mundy.

Among the promising newcomers are junior center forward Emily King and junior forward Jacki Esposito, sophomore midfielder Breanna Hallman, and two eighth-graders, midfielder/defenseman Sarah Tuthill and forward/midfielder Jasmine Fell.

While Gulluscio believes the defense will be the strength of the team, he knows he has a lot of goals to replace.

“I am confident we can do the job,” he said. “Our goal is to compete and win. We’re looking to get into the playoff picture.”

Gulluscio said the Clippers will have a junior varsity team this season that will be coached by Rebecca Lillis. He said it will be a good feeder program for the varsity team.

“We’ve got the potential to do great things,” he said. “They just have to discover a way to do it. We have a lot of inexperience, but we will be all right. These are great kids who are bonding. Once we figure out how to win, that will be the key for our future success.”