Matt Maloney, the new name in the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school girls lacrosse program, carefully avoided mentioning player names during an 11-minute interview on Monday. As the Tuckers’ new coach sees it, that was in keeping with his emphasis on the team concept.
Ironically, Maloney takes over a team that is starting to make a name for itself. Last year, in their fifth varsity season, the Tuckers (9-7) completed their first winning season and reached the playoffs for the first time. They lost to Shoreham-Wading River in a Suffolk County Class C Tournament outbracket game.
Maloney, 30, coached East Hampton/Pierson for six years before stepping away in 2013. Last year he was an assistant coach at William Floyd. Earlier, he had been an assistant at Rocky Point.
Asked for his thoughts about his new assignment, Maloney said: “The first word that comes to mind is excitement. Most new coaches would say that, but we have an outstanding core of girls that have been dedicated to the sport for a while.”
The Tuckers have talent on hand.
Trish Brisotti, a senior midfielder and two-time all-division player, will play for LIU Post after high school. She will become the first Mattituck/Greenport/Southold player to play at the NCAA Division II level, according to school officials.
Another player with college lacrosse in her future is junior midfielder Katie Hoeg, who has verbally committed to North Carolina. Hoeg and her cousin, junior midfielder Audrey Hoeg, have formed a nice partnership in recent years. They are among five Hoegs (all related) on the team, the others being two eighth graders, attackman Riley Hoeg and goalie Claudia Hoeg, and a seventh grader, midfielder/attackman Mackenzie Hoeg.
Maloney likes the mix of veterans and youth that he has to draw from. Aside from Brisotti, the only other senior on the 23-player roster is attackman Colby Prokop.
Among the rest are eight juniors: Erin Feeney, Mia Vasile-Cozzo, Emma Fasolino, Courtney Penny, Skyler Grathwohl, Caroline Keil, Pharlamu Sherpa and Megan McKillop. Corinne Reda and Emily Perry are sophomores. Chelsea Marlborough, Alexandra Beebe, Liz Dwyer, Ashley Burns, Jane DiGregorio and Alex Talbot make up the freshman class.
Perhaps the biggest change the Tuckers face is replacing goalie Nicole L’Hommedieu. Perry, Talbot and Claudia Hoeg are in competition for the position. Then again, Maloney said all the players are in competition for positions.
“That’s the thing that we’re trying to bring in to all positions,” he said. “When you step on the field, practice or game, your position is available: Go get it. No girl’s spot is safe, and I think that makes everybody better.”
Maloney said the Tuckers can compete with any team offensively. Tightening up the defense is his No. 1 priority.
The Tuckers are seeded 14th out of 24 teams in Division II.
“The C playoffs is a dogfight,” Maloney said. “You have some really strong small schools in there: Mount Sinai, Bayport and Shoreham, who is always going to be a good contest for us.”
“We could compete with every team, but we also could lose to any team, I think, because we’re right in the middle of that pack,” he continued. “So, that goes along with that competition that we’re trying to breed in practice … we’re going to have to be competing every game. I don’t think there’s going to be many games that are just handed to us.”