Last season Mattituck/Greenport/Southold not only showed that it could compete with any of the high school girls lacrosse teams that it played, but it also showed that it could win most of those games.
“It was a great thing to be a part of,” said Matt Maloney, who is in his second year as the team’s coach. “I think that the nice thing is we competed no matter who our opponent was. We competed in every game. We think we certainly can not only compete with any team, but also beat any team. Having said that, we will see top teams.”
With 10 returning starters, Mattituck (11-6 last year) looks well-placed to make a dent into the playoffs in what will be its seventh varsity season. The Tuckers are coming off their greatest season, setting a team record for the most wins in a season, reaching the playoffs for the second straight year, hosting a playoff game for the first time and picking up their first playoff win, over Sayville. They advanced to the Suffolk County Class C Tournament semifinals before falling to mighty Mount Sinai, 9-5.
Mattituck, ranked eighth among the 25 teams in Suffolk County Division II, is looking to make a postseason push with two all-county players, senior midfielders Katie Hoeg and Audrey Hoeg, leading the way. The two cousins both have NCAA Division I lacrosse in their futures. Katie Hoeg (57 goals, 51 assists) will play for North Carolina, and Audrey Hoeg (33 goals, 17 assists) is headed to William & Mary (Va.).
“They’ve always been hard workers,” said Maloney, adding: “I think that they set really good examples for what we have. They come out, they work hard. They try to help my younger players along.”
A pair of all-league players in sophomore defenseman Alexandra Beebe (56 ground balls, 17 forced turnovers) and freshman attackman Riley Hoeg (30 goals, 22 assists) will also help. Mackenzie Hoeg, an eighth-grader who can play attack or midfield, made the all-county rookie team.
In addition, Katie Hoeg, Audrey Hoeg and senior defenseman Courtney Penny received academic all-American honors for their work in the classroom.
Attackman Mia Vasile-Cozzo, midfielder Chelsea Marlborough and defenseman Ashley Burns were starters last year. The team’s three goalies remain: Emily Perry, Claudia Hoeg and Alex Talbot.
Meanwhile, varsity experience is also offered by midfielders Jane DiGregorio and Phurlamu Sherpa and defenseman Corinne Reda. Two newcomers have been added to the roster, attackman Francesa Vasile-Cozzo and midfielder Brianna Fox.
“I like that we’re very versatile,” Maloney said. “We have a lot of players that can play multiple positions for us.”
The biggest concern for the Tuckers may be that they are on the light side as far as depth is concerned. That question aside, one wonders how far they can go this year.
“We have a bunch of really hungry young girls that are willing to fight tooth and nail for anything on the field,” Maloney said. “The girls are very hungry for this season. They’re looking forward to getting going.”
Photo caption: Katie Hoeg, a senior midfielder headed for North Carolina, brought Mattituck/Greenport/Southold 57 goals and 51 assists last year. (Credit: Daniel De Mato, file)