Girls lacrosse: Wildcats score first win of season

After graduating superstar seniors GraceAnn Leonard and Abigail Beran, who now play for the University of North Carolina and University of Connecticut respectively, Shoreham-Wading River’s biggest question mark for the girls lacrosse team this year was how they were going to replace that production. Leonard scored 30 goals and collected 15 assists and Beran scored 34 goals to go along with three assists last season. Most importantly, the duo owned the midfield and caused havoc from endline to endline. Leonard recorded more than 100 draw wins on the season.

“We don’t have that one person that can just take over their roles,” SWR head coach Alex Fehmel said. “We have to do it collectively as a unit. We don’t have that go-to player like GraceAnn or Abby … I think we have to kind of change our style to play together and include more people for us to be successful.”

Following two straight losses to start the season, the Wildcats finally got a peek of that togetherness in their 14-7 win against Kings Park at home Tuesday afternoon. With the rain pouring down, the Wildcats showed their dominance from the opening draw control.

Just over a minute into the game Reese Marcario found a streaking Madison Herr for the opening goal. Four minutes later the duo would connect on a goal again to make the score 4-0. Herr would go on to score four goals in the victory and Marcario assisted on three of them. Marcario and Herr could be the makings of another strong duo. Herr has already scored seven goals this season as a freshman.

“We really work well together on the field,” Herr said. “We have a strong two-man game and always seem to find each other. We have really quick feet and fast so it’s like we compliment each other.”

“We’re really good friends,” Marcario added. “We spend a lot of time with each other and it’s easy to communicate on the field. It’s all about timing and we’re pretty good at knowing where the other person is at all times.”

Marcario scored two goals of her own as well as Kings Park never really threatened to get back into the game after the Wildcats took a commanding lead. Shoreham-Wading River shared the love and got goals from Grayce Kitchen, Haylie Abrams, Kady Keegan, Sophia Minnion, and Charlotte Erb over the course of the game. They led by as much as nine goals late in the third quarter. 

“I think today was very good for us after our past two losses,” Fehmel said. “We were able to adapt to what we have been trying to do this season in this game. We came together and played as one and that’s why we won today.”

The two losses against Bayport-Blue Point and Islip were a learning experience for the Wildcats. Bayport-Blue Point went undefeated in the regular season last year and ended up knocking Shoreham-Wading River out of the playoffs. Islip played to a record of 12-4 last year and also made the playoffs. So even though the Wildcats started 0-2, they played top-of-the-line competition. 

“I’m glad we got those games early in the season,” Fehmel said. “We got the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. It’s obviously not the way we wanted our season to start off but there’s so many positives we can also take away from games like that. I feel like we came out a little flat against Islip. I was really proud of the way we played against Bayport-Blue Point. I actually felt more confident with our game after that loss. We just need to make in-game adjustments better, make the right choices and limit our unforced errors.”

The Wildcats (1-2 Division II) will try to build on this win and take it into Friday when they host Westhampton (2-0 Division II) at 4:45 p.m.