For some players, the glory in lacrosse comes in scoring a goal. Not for Ella Suglia, though. She’s known to her teammates as the Assist Queen for a reason.
It may have never been easier to see why than on Saturday morning. Suglia racked up eight assists (seven in the opening 17 minutes, 41 seconds) to go with one goal in Mattituck/Southold’s 18-6 romp in a Suffolk County Division II game in Hampton Bays. She was simply doing what she loves best — creating goals.
Asked afterward if she had ever totaled more assists in a varsity game before, the junior attack answered: “I’m actually not sure. I honestly didn’t realize I had that many before I came off the sidelines and [assistant] Coach [Caitlin] Appel and Coach [Logan] McGinn were like, ‘Wow, you’re doing good today!’
“I love assisting. It is literally one of my favorite things because it actually [is] like just being able to help out my teammates and when they’re open, I’ll be able to have the chance to pass them the ball and they get the shot and score.”
It happened time and time again.
With that output, Suglia brought her season total to eight goals, 24 assists and 32 points in four games, already more than the 27 points she registered last season. Her first varsity season was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have to say she’s one of the best,” midfielder Gianna Calise said. “She has a great IQ. She’s like a really big benefit to our team. She could see everyone on the field and it’s really like beneficial to us, so we’re grateful to have her.”
Suglia earned all-division status last year along with teammate Brynn Gardner.
“She’s a special girl,” McGinn said of Suglia. “It’s not very common when you find somebody that is like giving, you know, rather than getting the glory of the goal, but she has definitely offered the assists, and it’s an impressive trait to have and she’s very good at it.”
“That’s a big plus for a team and I don’t think we are where we are without Ella,” he continued. “I think she’s really a tremendous asset for us.”
Calise, one of two starting eighth-graders (along with Page Kellershon) for Mattituck, wasn’t too far behind Suglia Saturday with her three goals and five assists. It may be more than a coincidence that Calise has an affinity for assists as well. She is a Suglia fan.
“I looked up to her my whole life,” said Calise, who played junior high school lacrosse last season. “© I saw her on all these social media platforms and I was like, ‘I really like want to be her when I’m older.’ And so, you know, I look up to her and I always saw that when I’d go to the varsity games, I’d see her helping her team out, being a good supporter. So I saw that she had that mentality.”
Gardner had a big game as well with five goals and two assists. That gave her 14 goals and 14 assists for the season. Megan Tobin brought the Tuckers three goals and Sage Foster had two. Leah Weir, Carolyn Conroy, Kellershon and Jamie Schwartz also scored as Mattituck picked up its fourth win in five games.
McGinn likes what he has seen from his two starting eighth-graders, who certainly don’t look out of place. “And then I have a bunch of eighth-graders on JV that are just lighting up the scoreboard, too, so the future’s definitely very bright,” he said.
Hampton Bays, winless in five games, was led by Meegan Lennon’s three goals. Taylor Meyers added a goal and an assist. Eden Brown and Jordyn Meyers also found the net for the Baymen.
All 19 Tuckers played. They were without attack Sofia Knudsen, who has 11 goals and was unavailable.
Although Suglia plays low attack for her club team, she played high attack for Mattituck until this year when McGinn noticed her passing skills and moved her to low attack, which typically offers a player more opportunities for goals and assists.
“I was like, ‘Do you play low attack a lot?’ ” he said. “And she goes, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Why didn’t you ever say anything?’ And she goes, ‘Well, you’re my coach and I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do.’ She’s a super coachable kid.”
Now the question is: Just how many assists will Suglia wind up with this season?
“I don’t know what I’m going to finish with,” she said. “Hopefully a lot. That’s the plan.”
She has a nickname to live up to.