Finley Girls' Lax a Suffolk Power
A mix of offensive firepower, rugged midfield play and stifling defense helped the J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls' lacrosse team roll to an 8-2 record this past spring.
Head coach Linda Roth and assistant coach Marissa Bergmann pushed the Falcons and developed a squad that gave its opponents all they could handle. Finley was captained by Katie Roger, Daniella Schoen, Katie Nugent, Mackenzie Maloney and Lindsay Sullivan.
"They were an athletically skilled group of girls," Roth said about the squad. "Skill-wise, we were better than all the other teams. Coach Bergmann and I had a great deal of fun with this group. We are truly going to miss them."
The Falcon roster featured a stable of top-notch players. The team was solid at just about every position. The highlight of the season came in games against strong teams from Oldfield and Northport. "We played very well against two athletic teams," Roth said. "By the end of the season, the defense was clicking like a machine. They were shutting down their opponents and attempting to encroach on their turf."
The campaign saw the rise of many promising players. Heather Forster shined at the center position. "She dominated many draw controls, which allowed us to gain momentum and the lead in many games," Bergmann said. "She was one of our top goal scores this season."
Mackenzie Maloney was another key player, filling an important role on the squad. "She was first in assists and contributed a great deal on offense," Bergmann said. "She is a very determined and aggressive player."
Exceptional all-around athlete Lindsay Sullivan was a third Falcon mainstay. "She had no problem helping her team in any way possible," Roth said. "Lindsay is the type of player that can be put into any situation and excel. She has a wonderful understanding of the game and had a great deal of interruptions this season."
Finley's defense was nothing short of awesome with Darya DeSimone emerging as one of the top players. "She has improved tremendously and played an important role on defense," Bergmann said. "She is an extremely aggressive player."
Allison Minoff and Bailey Whiffen were also key defensive players for the team. "They worked hard everyday at practice," Roth said. "Both athletes shut down many top attack players and very much contributed to our wins."
Caitlin Knowles played an important role offensively and defensively. "She has great speed and great knowledge of the game," Bergmann said. "She was one of our best transition players."
Goalies Allison Berejka and Taylor Moreno sparkled between the posts. "There were many situations where their saves kept us in the game," Bergmann said. "They worked very hard this season and have greatly improved. I look forward to having them next season."
The future looks bright. "We have an excellent group of seventh graders returning," Roth said. "Many of these girls have been playing together for years in outside leagues and have an excellent skill base upon which we hope to build."
Finley Facts: The coaching staff pointed to Lana Ziegler, Kacie Rubert and Daniella Schoen as the top eighth grade offensive players and Katie Nugent, Emily Sager, Mary Sheehan, Marissa Acton, Emily Sager and Katie Rogers as the leading eighth grade defensive players . . . The top seventh graders were Katie Reilly, Meghan Plant, Victoria Martin, Sarah Fernandez, Emma DeGennaro, Kelly Palladino, Katie Keys, Irina DeSimone, Caroline McCarthy, Lena Scarpulla, Erica Lopez Jeannie Kopstein, Hailey Bengston, Gabrielle LaMarco, Kelly Schaefer and Julia Macedonia.