Waves look for a breakout year

Riverhead sees possibilities for a big season, with 11 players returning from last year’s team. The Blue Waves are seeded seventh in Suffolk County Division III.

Cheryl Walsh-Edwards believes her Riverhead Blue Waves field hockey team is on the verge of having a breakout season.

Walsh-Edwards is excited about the team’s potential. While the Blue Waves (5-10 last year) are young, there are 11 returning players from last season’s team.

Riverhead, the seventh-seeded team in Suffolk County Division III, will be led by three players who received postseason honors last year — Justine Huysman (all-division), Melodee Riley (all-division) and Brittney Baron (all-conference). Huysman and Riley, the team most valuable player, are forwards, while Baron is a midfielder.

Goalie Ally Doscinski, defensemen Meghan Harden, Sabrina Harris and Loren Burgazzoli, midfielders Christy Brewer and Corrine Kimmelman and forward Amanda Grazziano all have varsity experience.

Walsh-Edwards talked about how important it is to have Doscinski in goal.

“Ally is agile and quick,” Walsh-Edwards said. “When you have a strong commitment from your goalie, it builds confidence. If she is mentally in the game, we could do well.”

Newcomers who could play a significant role are forward Jocelyn Zaneski, defensemen Rebecca Kerr-Smith, Vanessa Martin and Jenna Kockenmeister, and forward/midfielder Sydney Kito.

“We’ve got competition for spots and that makes us better,” Walsh-Edwards said. “Healthy competition is a good thing.”

Walsh-Edwards said her team is in good condition.

“These girls did a lot of work during the summer,” she said. “A lot of them played in the summer league and did the four-day camp, which helped a lot with their fundamentals. They are committed to field hockey. They are enthusiastic and focused. They really want it. They want to be competitive. The playoffs are always our goal. I am really excited about this group. I really believe that this year or next year will be our breakout season.”