05/28/13 9:30am
05/28/2013 9:30 AM

BILL LANDON/ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTOS | Sean Condron and Lauren Lustgarten will lead their respective teams into the county finals tonight.

The Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse teams will play a unique doubleheader tonight at Dowling Sports Complex. Both teams will be looking to defend their county titles, starting with the girls game at 5 p.m.

The girls will play top-seeded and undefeated Mount Sinai, the top ranked Class C team in the state. The Wildcats lost to Mount Sinai earlier this year, 14-8. The Wildcats will hope to replicate their success from last year. In the regular season last year the Wildcats lost to the Mustangs before bouncing back to win in the county finals.

The Wildcats come into the game off an 8-7 overtime thriller over Babylon. The Wildcats have plenty of postseason success to fall back on tonight. Since 2006 the Wildcats are 29-2 in the postseason, winning five state championships.

The Wildcats have not lost a Class C playoff game since the state semifinals in 2006. In 2011 they lost in the Class B county finals.

Following the girls game tonight, the boys will play Bayport-Blue Point for the Class C county title. That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Shoreham comes into the game off a lopsided first-round win over John Glenn. Shoreham won 15-4 in the regular season against Bayport.

Admission to both games is $6. Be sure to check back right here for live coverage of both games tonight.

05/21/13 9:40pm
05/21/2013 9:40 PM


Meredith Bushell doesn’t crave the spotlight on a lacrosse field. It’s her competitiveness that drives her, and what has helped her thrive as a defensive player.

She rarely cracks the box score for goals or assists. And she’s fine with that.

“I don’t like people beating me,” the Shoreham-Wading River senior said of what motivates her on the field.

That mentality has helped her become one the premier defensive players in the county. And in Tuesday’s Class C semifinal game against Babylon, she faced the challenge of guarding an elite playmaker in Shelby Fredericks, a Northwestern committed attackman.

In a game where every goal was hard earned, the Wildcats needed to contain Fredericks for the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation and into overtime, just long enough to emerge 8-7 winners and advance into next Tuesday’s county championship.

The Wildcats (13-4) will be making their 10th straight trip to a county final and will face their longtime rival in undefeated Mount Sinai.

The Wildcats never trailed against the Panthers, but there was no shortage of intense moments.

Fredericks struck twice in a 2 1/2 minute span to tie the game at 7 with 2:35 left in regulation. On her first goal, the ball bounced at the goal line and shot directly up and knocked off the crossbar into the cage. She tied the game on a free position for her next goal.

Bushell knows Fredericks well having played with her on several teams outside of school and at camps.

The Wildcats’ ‘backer’ zone defense doesn’t typically allow the defense to focus on one particular player. But when the Wildcats needed to make an adjustment in the second half to focus more on Fredericks, it was Bushell who got the call.

“I pretty much stayed with her when I knew we needed it,” Bushell said. “At the end when we had a free position, I was on her like glue.”

Fredericks (2 goals, 2 assists) had the ball in her stick with 10 seconds to go in regulation with a chance to win the game, exactly what the Panthers (12-5) could have hoped for at the start. But Fredericks waited a few seconds too long to make her move and couldn’t get off a strong shot at the end, sending the game into overtime.

“Meredith was doing great,” said Shoreham coach Mary Bergmann. “I don’t think [Fredericks] was getting too many looks late in the second half and into overtime. She was passing the ball around and that’s kind of what we wanted.”

In the first overtime period, Jessica Angerman won the opening draw against Fredericks, giving the Wildcats a crucial first possession. The Panthers had dominated on draws all game, but the Wildcats came up with a big one when they needed it.

With 1:33 left, Lauren Lustgarten circled behind the cage and found Paulina Constant darting to the front wide open. Constant caught the pass and buried the shot to put the Wildcats ahead 8-7.

“It’s a hard spot for the goalie,” Bergmann said. “The goalie’s backwards and has to turn around.”

To start the second overtime period (there are two three-minute halves in OT) the Panthers won the draw. As the Panthers tried passing the ball toward the crease, Meghan King intercepted a pass in front of the goal, sending the Wildcats in transition.

The goal for Shoreham became simple: hold the ball.

The Wildcats nearly ran the clock down, thanks in large part to a huge effort from Shannon Rosati. Earlier in the first overtime she took a hard hit and appeared a bit shaky forcing her to come out of the game. After the trainer determined her fit to return, Rosati came back in with 1:28 left. Using her speed, she raced through the Panthers’ defensive zone with the ball, running crucial seconds off the clock.

“I think that says a lot about her and says a lot about our team mentality ” Bergmann said. “She knew she wanted to come back in the game. Maybe without her we might not have been able to pull that off as good as we did.”

The Wildcats ran nearly two minutes off the clock before turning the ball over near midfield with 14 seconds left. The Panthers got one last chance, but couldn’t get off a quality shot at the end.

“I knew we were going to be OK,” Bushell said.

Goalkeeper Lauren Daly delivered a strong performance between the pipes for Shoreham. The sophomore stopped seven shots, including a big one with 1:35 left in regulation on a Fredericks shot. A scramble for the ground ball ensued behind the goal and Daly fought her way in to scoop up the ball.

“Lauren’s awesome,” Bushell said. “She literally saves us all the time.”

The Wildcats never led by more than two in the game, but each time Babylon tied it, they answered with a goal to recapture the lead. Shoreham got a balanced effort offensively with three players scoring multiple goals. Rosati, Alex Fehmel and Alyssa Pearce all scored a pair. Constant had 2 assists to go with her game-winning goal.


05/09/13 6:00pm
05/09/2013 6:00 PM


ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Riverhead junior Carolyn Carrera scored five goals with a pair of assists in the Blue Waves' loss Tuesday to Patchogue-Medford.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Carolyn Carrera was selected to play on the Long Island Metropolitan Team.

GIRLS LACROSSE: Carrera picked for L.I. team Carolyn Carrera, a junior midfielder at Riverhead High School, has been chosen to play on the Long Island Metropolitan Team to compete in the 2013 US Lacrosse Women’s Division National Tournament May 25-26 at Lehigh University. Carrera is the first Riverhead lacrosse player to be selected to a team of this national significance. The tournament features high school age players representing the US Lacrosse region in which they live and play. The Long Island Metropolitan Team is selected from the best high school girls lacrosse players in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The National Tournament began in 1933 as a tournament to showcase the best post-collegiate and club women’s lacrosse players. Since that time, it has grown into one of the largest women’s lacrosse events in the nation.

Zilnicki helps Farmingdale to title Farmingdale State captured its sixth consecutive Skyline Conference Championship after defeating Old Westbury, 2-1, recently in Farmingdale. The Rams earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Tournament. Senior left fielder David Zilnicki of Riverhead led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a bunt single by junior center fielder Edward Bergmann. After an Anthony Alvino sacrifice bunt, designated hitter Dalton McCarthy reached on a fielder’s choice as Zilnicki scored to give the Rams (28-11) a 1-0 lead. Zilnicki also scored on Alvino’s fielder’s choice in the fifth for a 2-1 lead. Zilnicki went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, two stolen bases and two walks.

YOUTH SOCCER: Riverhead soccer showcase A youth soccer showcase will be held at the Riverhead High School boys soccer varsity field behind the Pulaski Street School on Sunday, May 19. The sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. for boys and girls from kindergarten through third grade, and from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. for boys and girls in grades 4 through 6. The cost is $5 per player.

04/30/13 8:18pm
04/30/2013 8:18 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Carolyn Carrera scored five goals with a pair of assists in the Blue Waves’ loss Tuesday to Patchogue-Medford.


After each successive yellow card handed down to the Riverhead Blue Waves Tuesday, the prospect of a win became increasingly bleak.

In total the Blue Waves got assessed five cards, helping fuel Patchogue-Medford’s 17-8 Division I win in Riverhead. The Blue Waves lost their sixth straight in a game that was very much up for grabs midway through the second half until everything quickly unraveled.

“I’m not saying that all of our playing was legal, but I definitely disagree with some of the calls,” said Riverhead coach Ashley King.

The Raiders ended the game on a 9-0 run over the final 15 minutes after the Blue Waves (2-10, 2-9 D-I) had tied the game at 8. The run coincided with the Blue Waves going a man down after their fourth yellow card with 15:31 left.

Moments earlier, Carolyn Carrera took one step in on a free position and unleashed a big right-handed shot past Pat-Med’s goalkeeper to score her fifth goal of the game. The goal capped a 5-0 run that began in the first half and brought the Blue Waves all the way back from a big early hole. Carrera scored three of the five goals during the run and assisted on another.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Joanna Messina tries to defend Patchogue-Medford freshman Madison Ostrick.

Twenty-one seconds later, the Blue Waves lost Samantha Brodeur to a yellow, her second of the afternoon, which forced her to the bench.

“It hurt a lot, considering we played about 20 minutes man down, due to the excessive yellow cards handed out,” King said.

In the first half the Blue Waves lost Sabina Dorr, one of the team’s leading scorers, to a pair of yellows. Adding insult to injury, the Blue Waves got tacked for another two-minute penalty when Dorr went back into the game after serving two minutes in the penalty area following her second yellow. But a player cannot reenter the game after two yellow cards.

The Raiders’ coaches alertly notified the refs the moment Dorr entered the game and the Blue Waves were hit with the additional two-minute penalty.

The Raiders (5-7, 5-6 D-I) struck for two goals over the next 3 1/2 minutes and appeared to have the game well in hand. But the Blue Waves came back with three straight goals to end the half, capped by a transition goal from Carrera on a low shot as she attacked the cage.

“Confidence,” King said of the Blue Waves’ run. “We were going to goal a lot more. Our speed, we were being more aggressive. Usually we’re a little hesitant to shoot. But today we were really firing some shots.”

The Raiders got five goals and two assists from freshman Madison Ostrick. Senior Erika Flowers and junior Kristin Carroll each added three goals.

The Blue Waves got three goals from Brodeur. She was the only Blue Waves with a goal in addition to Carrera.

King described Carrera as a “workhorse.”

“She’s working up and down the field, but we’re getting a lot of girls touching the ball and it really comes together as at team,” King said. “It’s a matter of putting 50 minutes together.”

The Blue Waves are down to just three games left on the season beginning Friday back at home against Smithtown East.

King said a big key down the stretch is trying to minimize mistakes late in the game. The Blue Waves don’t have a ton of depth, so most of the girls are playing the full 50 minutes.

“We’re getting there,” King said. “Our bench is getting deeper. A lot of the girls don’t get a lot of subs, so they’re working hard.”


04/19/13 7:55pm
04/19/2013 7:55 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Paulina Constant scores the Wildcats’ third goal Friday against Rocky Point. Constant finished with five.


Mary Bergmann always tries to keep an eye on the big picture as coach for Shoreham-Wading River. When it comes to resting the team’s main midfielders — the players most responsible for playing on both ends of the field — Shoreham’s coach won’t hesitate to give them a breather.

Even against one of their biggest rivals Friday afternoon in Rocky Point, the Wildcats’ first midfield line of Paulina Constant, Shannon Rosati and Alex Fehmel constantly rotated out for a second midfield line made up of an eighth-grader, freshman and sophomore.

“A lot of teams only run one midfield line and they don’t sub,” Bergmann said. “I think it’s going to help them in the long run if we keeping giving them breaks.”

Of course, having bench depth is a luxury not every team has.

In the Wildcats’ 14-8 win over the Eagles, a game they led from start to finish, the Wildcats never seemed threatened, minus a quick three-goal burst from the Eagles in the second half.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading senior Lauren Lustgarten scored 12 seconds into Friday’s game.

Even with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining, and the Wildcats ahead by four — a still perilous lead at times in girls lacrosse — Bergmann called for her second midfield line to give the starters a break.

“She definitely trusts them,” said senior Paulina Constant, who led the Wildcats with a season-high five goals and two assists. “We have so much depth on our team that even our second line can take on any other team’s first line and hold their ground.”

Bergmann said she feared Rocky Point could still mount another comeback, something all too familiar for Shoreham, so she wanted to give the starters a quick rest to regroup for the final few minutes.

“I wanted to get the first midfield line a break, and also show the second midfield line that we do have trust in them,” she said.

Constant said the breaks provide them a welcome boost.

“In games like this where we’re running back and forth constantly, we need a breather here and there,” she said.

Rocky Point, by contrast, rarely substituted.

The Wildcats (7-1 Division II) closed the game by scoring three unanswered goals over the final 5:15. Constant scored the last two, both on free position shots from nearly the identical spot on the right side of the arc.

The Wildcats know a thing or two about seeing leads disappear against Rocky Point. Two years ago in the first round of the playoffs, the Eagles (4-4, 3-3 Division II) scored seven straight goals to end the game and force overtime. Shoreham still prevailed in the extra period.

“It’s good to know we can keep our composure, because once Rocky Point starts to come back, we in the past have let them keep coming back and close the gap completely,” Bergmann said.

Shoreham came out firing with three goals in the first 2 1/2 minutes. But the offense stalled from there thanks to some missed shots and quality saves. Rocky Point closed to within a goal at 3-2 with 8:28 left in the first half.

But the Wildcats got back on track with three more goals to close out the half, capped by two from senior Jessica Angerman. She banked a shot from the left side off the right post with 4:40 left and then ripped a ball into the net on a free position shot a minute later.

“We knew we had to pick our intensity up,” Constant said. “We couldn’t be flat-footed on defense and had to pick up our shot selection on attack.”

Angerman finished with four goals.

“Jess comes out in big games when we need her,” Bergmann said. “Some games she doesn’t score as much, but I think that’s the beauty of our attack. It’s so flexible.”

Senior Lauren Lustgarten was the only other player with multiple goals. She finished with a pair. Fehmel tallied three assists.

After a disheartening loss to Sayville April 13, the Wildcats have bounced back with three straight wins to keep their hopes alive for the No. 1 seed in the Class C playoffs.

That could ultimately come down to next Thursday’s game against unbeaten Mount Sinai, the team the Wildcats are competing against for the top spot.


04/09/13 8:08pm
04/09/2013 8:08 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Lauren Lustgarten carries the ball up field late in the game Tuesday against Babylon.


There are games that define a team’s season, that serve as a turning point, a moment where everything clicks. Usually those type of games come late in the season when the playoffs are looming closer.

“At Shoreham we always say we want to have one defining win in a season,” said Wildcats coach Mary Bergmann. “I said yesterday hopefully tomorrow will be an early defining win for us so we know we can do it.”

Against Babylon the Wildcats faced one of the two teams that will ultimately stand in their way come playoff time in Class C. And the Panthers, behind a methodical offense, strong draw control and the talent of Shelby Fredericks, gave the Wildcats everything they could handle Tuesday afternoon at Shoreham-Wading River High School.

The Wildcats rallied for an 8-7 victory by getting two goals from senior Paulina Constant in the final 2:14.

“To me this game was just as important as winning a playoff game,” Bergmann said.

The victory keeps the Wildcats’ record perfect at 4-0 in Division II and gives them the early advantage in the all-important race for the No. 1 seed. Finishing first would allow the Wildcats to avoid having to play both Mount Sinai and Babylon (5-1, 3-1 Division II) in the playoffs.

It was a frustrating afternoon for long stretches for Shoreham as the Panthers dominated time of possession thanks to their ability to win draws. A combination of the Panthers’ patience on offense and the Wildcats’ ability to close scoring chances defensively led to long stretches with Babylon holding possession.

The Wildcats trailed by a goal when senior Alyssa Pearce got denied up close on a shot that Babylon goalie Emily Guerra snatched with 7:51 left. Babylon got out in transition and ran four minutes off the clock before finally turning it over on a pass that sailed off the sideline.

The Wildcats quickly went to work with Constant muscling her way past two defenders to score near the right post with 2:14 left.

Draws were a problem all afternoon for the Wildcats, but when they needed to win one, they got it. Senior Meredith Bushell took the draw after the game-tying goal. After a long scramble, junior Shannon Rosati emerged with possession.

And with 1:18 left, Rosati eluded a double team to find Constant for the game-winning goal.

“Both goals were setup plays by my teammates,” Constant said. “The second one was just a great assist. Shannon drew the double and it left me open. She did all the dirty work.”

Constant and Rosati both finished with 3 goals. It was Constant’s third hat trick in four games and she now has 11 goals on the season.

“I think she’s really stepping up and giving a leadership role,” Bergmann said. “Those two goals, that changed the game right there. We needed those shots. If we didn’t get those I’d be they would have tried to stall for four-five minutes.”

With the Wildcats not getting as many chances offensively as they’re used to, they needed a big game from sophomore Lauren Daly in goal. Daly’s save total didn’t jump off the page (7), but she came up with several tough stops that kept the Panthers from extending their lead by more than a goal.

Babylon led 6-5 when Daly made a terrific save midway through the second half on Fredericks, who led Babylon with 2 goals and 4 assists.

“She had some great saves,” Bergmann said. “Especially in the first half she had some point-blank shots on her.”

Daly stopped two free position shots in the final minute of the first half to keep the game tied at 4.

The Wildcats were without starting midfielder Jessica Angerman, who was out with a sore knee. Bergmann said they wanted to give Angerman a game to rest.

“Luckily we have the other three middies that are on her line and then we have another group of middies, which we didn’t play as much today.”

Angerman usually contributes on draws and the Wildcats missed her presence there. The Panthers had a 7-2 advantage in the first half on draws, but the teams were even (4-4) in the second after the Wildcats won the final three draws.

“Draw controls were big for us,” Constant said. “We didn’t do too hot the first half, but the second half we really came together.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier going forward as the Wildcats travel to Sayville Friday before hosting Eastport-South Manor Monday.

“You can’t put your guard down, because everyone is coming for Shoreham,” Bergmann said.


03/20/13 3:00pm
03/20/2013 3:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead junior Carolyn Carrera scored four goals with two assists in the Blue Waves’ season-opening loss Saturday.

Ashley King took the field for the first Riverhead practice this season in a unique position. As the new head coach of the third-year program, King had little knowledge of the players assembled before her. It didn’t matter what grades players were in or what positions they played in the past.

“I take that as an advantage, not knowing too much,” King said.

During tryouts, King evaluated players, trying to determine their skill level and lacrosse IQ. For a new program still in the building stages, the early part of the season is very much a work in progress.

“I’m really just trying different things, seeing where I thought they fit and then I asked for their feedback,” King said.

RELATED: Defending champs return biggest team yet

King takes over at Riverhead after a superb lacrosse career at Shoreham-Wading River and then the University of Massachusetts and Louisville. In 2006 King was a senior on the first Wildcats team to win a Long Island championship. Shoreham has since won five state championships.

King was a defender for two years at UMass, where she was on the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team as a freshman. She finished her career at Louisville, where she was a starter on defense.

When King saw the Riverhead position was available, it seemed like a perfect fit for her, she said.

“I’d love to rebuild the program and really grow it,” King said. “We’re playing in a huge hotbed for lacrosse.”

King said she hopes to share her experiences as a former college player and teach some of the lessons she learned along the way.

“I try to get them prepared for the next level and treat it kind of as a miniature college team,” she said. “They’re really giving 100 percent the entire time. We may be young, but I’m still going to have high expectations.”

The Blue Waves have a mix of youth to go with a handful of seniors. Junior Carolyn Carrera returns in the midfield and will be a key player on both ends for Riverhead. Carrera was named a Brine High School All-American last season. Carrera opened the season with 4 goals and 2 assists in Riverhead’s loss to Mattituck/Greenport/Southold on Saturday.

Sabina Dorr returns at attack for Riverhead. She dished out 4 assists Saturday. Amanda Dickerson and Emily Jehle will both be key on attack as well.

Michelle Danowski will anchor the defense. Paige Hubbard earned the first start in goal.

“We do have a lot of strengths,” King said. “It’s just finding a way to put it all together. These girls coming back are great athletes and great leaders.”

Riverhead will open its division schedule March 27 against Sachem East.

03/19/13 5:00pm
03/19/2013 5:00 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River junior Jessica Angerman leads the WIldcats against Mount Sinai today in the Class C championship game.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River midfielder Jessica Angerman is one of 13 seniors returning for the state champion Wildcats this season.

When a team achieves at such a high level over a long period of time, it can become easy for an outsider to take for granted the grind of the regular season and jump ahead to the bigger games that undoubtedly await at the end of the season.

For the players and coaches, there’s no such luxury.

During Shoreham-Wading River’s state championship season last year — the Wildcats’ fifth in the last six years — it was a gradual climb to the top. Every practice and game ultimately built toward the states, where in the biggest moment the Wildcats played their best lacrosse.

“It took us until probably the state semifinals last year to really get the trust in our attacking unit between midfielders and attack 100 percent, which I guess is the best time to have it,” said Shoreham coach Mary Bergmann, who is in her third year as the varsity coach.

RELATED: SWR grad Ashley King takes over at Riverhead

While the Wildcats return all but three players from last year’s team, the early part of the season is about building that trust up again, all in the hopes of it clicking by late May.

“We make an agreement after our first team meeting not to talk about anything but that first seed [in the playoffs],” Bergmann said. “And then we’ll deal with that once we get there.”

The Wildcats are the defending state champs, but they open the 2013 season as the No. 2 seed in Division II. Mount Sinai, which returns all of its starters from last season, received the No. 1 seed. Shoreham beat Mount Sinai 11-7 in last year’s Class C county championship.

The strength of Shoreham’s team lies in its senior class. The Wildcats have 13 seniors, most of whom are veteran varsity players.

The only downfall to having so many seniors is it leaves a massive hole to fill after the season. To help prepare for that, Bergmann put together the largest varsity roster in the program’s history. The Wildcats have 28 varsity players and another 24 girls are on the junior varsity.

“Practices are a little more competitive now,” Bergmann said. “We have to split things into two groups so the girls know they have to work hard because we wanted to make sure we kept things from where we were at the end of last season. Sometimes it’s hard because you bring in a bunch of players that have never played at the varsity level before and I’m sure it’s intimidating for them to walk in with 13 seniors in front of you.”

Also intimidating is the depth of the Wildcats’ midfield, which figures to cause headaches for teams all season.

Bergmann said she hopes to open the season by rotating two midfield lines. Part of that is looking ahead to next year by giving some of the younger girls experience.

Seniors Jessica Angerman (Michigan), Alex Fehmel (Fairfield), Paulina Constant (Ohio State) and junior Shannon Rosati will form the first midfield line. Sophomore Manuela Cortes, freshman Isabella Cortes and eighth-grader Sophia Triandafils will form the second midfield line.

On attack the Wildcats return seniors Lauren Lustgarten (Central Connecticut) and Alyssa Pearce (Sacred Heart).

“Last year our attack was constantly rotating,” Bergmann said. “We didn’t have four that we were consistently using.”

Rosati, for example, would often slide to attack from the midfield and can do so again.

Senior Clare Blomberg (Merrimack) started the season practicing attack and defense.

On defense the Wildcats return seniors Meredith Bushell (Ohio State) and Meghan King.

Senior Rachel Steimel will see an increased role on defense.

“On defense we need to get a unit together and just keep them together for the whole season,” Bergmann said.

In goal the Wildcats return sophomore Lauren Daly, who already has two years varsity experience and has verbally committed to Boston College. The Wildcats have plenty of depth, but goalie is not part of that. The Wildcats don’t have a backup, but Bergmann said she hopes toward the end of the season one of the JV goalies will emerge into a varsity backup.

A strength for Shoreham last season was its balanced offensive attack. That should be the case again this year. With the depth in the midfield and skilled attackers, the Wildcats have plenty of girls who can put the ball in the back of the net.

“Our game plan is pretty much the same,” Bergmann said. “We’re not expecting to just keep giving the ball to one person.”

Shoreham opens the season Monday at Kings Park.