Oceanside relishes fresh start


Coming off a difficult year in Nassau Conference I girls’ lacrosse, Oceanside is looking to compete for the top spot in II and opened with a confidence-building 10-7 victory over Seaford on March 27.

“Last year was tough because we lost a lot of close games,” coach Ralph Montera Jr. said of Oceanside’s 0-10 campaign. “This year we want to compete for a conference championship and at the very least finish ahead of Farmingdale, the other Class A team, to get a home playoff game.”

Running with the big dogs last spring, the Lady Sailors struggled to find the back of the net. However, so far they’re already close to half of last season’s production.

Three of their top weapons combined for 40 goals a year ago, with junior midfielder Julia Schwasnick accounting for half on the way to earning Honorable Mention All-County. “She’s a dynamic athlete with a verbal commit to Duke,” Montera Jr. said. “She talks the large majority of draws and is also an integral part of our defense.”

At some point this month, the coach is hoping senior captain Katie Morgan (12 goals in 2018) can return to action. She’s currently rehabbing from an injury that also forced her to miss the basketball season. “Katie is a shifty attacker who has strong one-on-one moves and can create her own shots,” Montera Jr. said.

Senior Lucia Alamia avoided the injury bug last season after it plagued her in the past and recorded eight goals and eight assists. She’s also a captain and All-Conference honoree. “Lucia’s an accurate shooter and feeder who works well from behind the cage,” Montera Jr. said.

Annelisa Milano is a lefty attack who added another dimension to her game, the coach said. She’s a smooth and steady player who has been more aggressive to the cage. She and fellow junior Sarah McCabe both exploded for four goals in the win over Seaford. McCabe is one of the team’s key pieces in transition, Montera Jr. noted. Senior Victoria Ward is a reliable attack who’s contributing on draws.

Senior captain Jamie Mecca, an Adelphi commit, enjoyed a five-point day against Seaford (two goals, three assists) from the midfield. “She’s undersized but more than makes up for it with her determination and ability to grind,” Montera Jr. said. “She hardly comes off the field and she’ll be among our leaders in groundballs in addition to contributing more offensively.”

Sophomore Shannon DiDominica and freshman Lily Johnson are also making a name for themselves in the midfield.

Oceanside’s defense is spearheaded by University of Tampa-bound senior Olivia Burnside, a vocal leader who was the Unsung Hero last season. Other keys in the back include seniors Ali Stein and Maddie DiDominica, sophomore Mia Judd and freshman Mikayla Dannon. In goal, Montera Jr. praised junior Caroline Kraemer’s ability to limit rebounds and deliver strong outlet passes. Kraemer played in roughly a third of last year’s games and started the playoff contest.

The Lady Sailors play three of their next four at home, beginning April 10 versus Oyster Bay at 4:30 p.m.