When it comes to Calhoun’s girls’ lacrosse roster this spring, youth is served. Coach James Raucci, in his ninth year at the helm, is working with his youngest squad by far and witnessed an early growth spurt in just the fourth game of the season.
Two freshmen and a pair of eighth-graders combined for more than half of the Lady Colts’ offense in a 15-10 non-conference victory over East Meadow on April 4. Riley Raines had three goals, Grace Radtke and Maggie Araneo had two apiece, and Olivia Correa added one as part of the team’s breakout performance. Seniors Sarah Tappeto (three goals), Megan Schiaffo (two goals, two assists) and Taylor Curcio (two goals) also came up big as Calhoun evened its record at 2-2.
“It’s such an interesting team and we’re going to get better every day,” Raucci said. “Sometimes I need to remind myself we have girls playing against opponents four and five years older than they are. I’m excited for the growth, and at the same time I feel we can finish .500 this year.”
Much of the youth can be found on attack with freshmen Raines and Radtke, and eighth-graders Araneo and Correa. Raucci said all four have the ability to finish around the cage. He likes how Raines moves off the ball, Radtke’s right-handed shot, Araneo’s quick first step, and Correa’s smooth lefty release and aggressiveness to the net. “I can see them all working together for the next four years,” the coach noted.
Any of the four could also get some minutes in the midfield and give Schiaffo, who was Honorable Mention All-County last spring, a breather. “When Megan gets her stride, she’s dangerous,” Raucci said. “She’s a smart two-way player and a good finisher.”
Tappeto, a middie who “flies all over the field and has great conditioning,” Raucci said, is off to a feel-good start after suffering an eye injury during soccer season and undergoing two surgeries. She opened with three goals in an 8-4 win over Mepham and then netted six in a loss to Conference II rival Farmingdale. Sophomore Kerry Pearson is a strong defensive midfielder with speed.
Curcio, primarily a defender, could see a change in her responsibilities after stepping up to dominate draws against East Meadow, helping the Lady Colts rally from an early deficit. “She has outstanding endurance, so she can handle the demands of playing in the midfield,” Raucci said.
In addition to Curcio, senior defenders Annie Coogan and Julia Miguel, and freshman Lauren Rossi, were all key parts of Calhoun’s soccer team which reached the county championship game. Senior Honora Campbell, who scored twice against Mepham, starts on defense or lends a veteran hand on attack.
In goal, freshman Lauren Boldis tops the depth chart and is adapting well to the speed of varsity game. She made eight saves against Mepham. Junior Tara Cavanagh, last year’s JV starter, is also in the goalie mix.
The Lady Colts are back in action April 19 when they travel to Plainedge for a 4:30 p.m. faceoff.