The North Shore field hockey team finished its 2017 campaign with a 5-6 record, not enough for a playoff berth in Nassau Conference II, but with a keen attitude towards the future of the program.
“We fell short of a playoff bid, but the desire to come in each day and ‘be better’ in whatever way that meant - a teammate, stick work, hit, endurance, to know that this was just not only playing field hockey that we were striving to do the ‘simple things well’ and ‘better ourselves’ along the way,” head coach Kelley Huggins said.
With a collective of talented players, Huggins is proud of the work ethic her team showed this season.
“Tremendous work ethic and commitment,” she said. “They truly love playing and being part of a team. The camaraderie among this particular team of 28 was one of the greatest I have had the opportunity to coach in the past 16 years,” Huggins said.
Unfortunately, as the season winded down and a chase ensued for a playoff spot, Huggins’s squad just barely dropped 4 of its last 5 games by the slight average of minus-1.25 goal differential in those four losses.
However, when it came to contribution from an array of talent, the Lady Vikings saw involvement of a multitude of their young talent.
Sophomore Micaela Fitzpatrick (12 goals) upheld her high output throughout the course of the season, picking up her club at times whilst also being a headache for opposing teams to gameplan for. Her signature games came against Conference II foes New Hyde Park and Oyster Bay, in which she managed three goals in both efforts.
“(Micaela) has just the right touch to put the ball in the back of the net,” Huggins said.
Senior Jessica Alvarez, one the team’s primary goalies throughout the season, was sensational at times, the coach explained. Against opponents Locust Valley and Port Washington, she compiled double-digit saves resulting in split outcomes, however, giving her squad the best chance to win in the cage. Alvarez earned a 1-0 shutout win against Port Washington on Sept. 18, making 10 saves in the process. Jane Sturge had the game’s lone goal.
Sophomore Mary Sotiryadis, also a goalie, managed to top Alvarez’s season total of 36 saves by a slim margin of three. The talented duo of stoppers made their presence known all season for the Lady Vikings.
Team captains April Rowell (3 assists), Hannah Moran (2 assists, 1 goal), and Alana Greene (four-year varsity player) were all big parts of North Shore’s success. Andrea Liotta was one of the team’s most versatile players, and Juliana Forsander and Juliette Alfarone are sophomores with bright futures.
“I can only hope that theses young ladies carry this drive for their future athletic seasons and in life - to be better and walk away each day knowing you worked to better yourself and support those around you,” Huggins said.