Oceanside eyes conference top spot


The 2017 soccer season was one that was laden with inconsistency at Oceanside. The Lady Sailors got off to a fast start, but struggled down the stretch and were eliminated by Farmingdale in the opening round of the Nassau Class AA playoffs. They finished with an overall record of 6-6.

Once again, Oceanside finds itself competing in Conference AA-II, where it expects to battle for the league title. The Lady Sailors will have a pair of matches with Hempstead, Westbury, Uniondale, Freeport, Long Beach, and Plainview JFK.

The 2018 season got off to a good start as the Lady Sailors blanked visiting Westbury, 10-0, on Sept. 13. Junior Ashley Ladner had three goals, and senior captain Melina Serrao scored twice and had two assists to lead the barrage. Six different players found the back of the net for Oceanside.

Long-time coach Mariana Winchester thinks her team is talented enough to win her league and compete with the big guns from Conference I. “We have talent from keeper all the way up to the strikers,” Winchester said. “Having a balanced roster is one of our strengths. While we have some highly skilled players, we don’t have to lean heavily on one or two players to be successful. Being consistent will be very important. Practices are very competitive. We’re still trying to find the right mix.”

Three-year varsity starter Mary Cecil returns in net. The junior keeper has great hands and makes smart decisions when it comes to leaving the crease or holding the line. Winchester has a solid backup keeper in senior Alex Gigli.

Oceanside’s backline is deep. Three seniors, center back Angelina Fucile, and outside backs Michelle Gomez and Kaitlyn Hennig lead the group. Freshman Lily Johnson, and seniors Kelly Madden and Lauren Boschert could all find themselves starting at times. Juniors Paige Olewnicki and Jaclyn Pizzuto, and sophomores Bella Lazzaro and Alex Dato are all fighting for playing time.

The games run through center midfielders Ladner and sophomore Micaella Romagno. Senior Madison Kasten and freshman Julie Strianese are a big part of the rotation. Senior captain Jillian Bloom, a four-year varsity performer, and fleet-footed senior Jamie Mecca work the outside. Mecca had a pair of assists in the win over Westbury. Freshman Emme Schnell scored her first varsity goal in the win.

Junior Luigina Serrao is the team’s go-to scorer. Serrao has terrific foot skills and can score with either foot. The tandem with hard-working sister Melina figures to be one of the top one-two punches in the league. Senior Hailey Postl is another talented forward who can score.

Juniors Maia Jerichower and Lindsey Abdul Karim, and sophomore Olivia Losurdo will all look to contribute.

“The philosophy is to practice as hard as you play in the game,” Winchester said. “We can’t afford to ever let down. I truly believe that we can hold our own against anyone.”

The Lady Sailors host Uniondale on Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m.