East Meadow fresh for stretch run


East Meadow’s girls’ lacrosse team will be well rested when it resumes its chase for a probable playoff spot this week.

The Jets had not played in 11 days when they took the field against Kennedy May 1 and entered the contest with a 6-2 Conference III record (6-4 overall). The mark is good for third in the division as the team tries for its third playoff berth in as many seasons under coach Nicolette Tortorici.

“We're a young team and we have girls who are hard working and athletic,” Tortorici said. “We've definitely been successful. We've been happy with all of the outcomes and we're looking forward to, hopefully, postseason play.”

Tortorici said she used the break to set up more defensive sets, offensive plays and special teams strategies and didn't anticipate any rust once the schedule resumed.

East Meadow entered the break on a positive note after a 7-6 comeback win over New Hyde Park on April 19 to end a modest two-game losing streak. The Jets trailed 5-1 after the first quarter, but shut down the Gladiators the rest of the way and Kayla Lederer scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the final stanza to send the Senior Day crowd home happy.

“We were distracted in the beginning of the game, and then we realized that we were down a couple of goals and we knew we didn't want to lose on Senior Day on our home turf,” Tortorici said. “The girls finally found the flow and we were able to pull out the win.”

Halle Lara has 12 goals in her last four games and leads the team with 25 and fellow senior Brooke Vislocky's hat trick against New Hyde Park increased her goal total to 24 while pacing the Jets with 32 points. There were questions about whether Vislocky, an 11-goal scorer in 2023, would even play lacrosse this season after suffering a “very traumatic brain injury” midway through her basketball season.

“Not many girls her age would come back to playing a sport after something like this,” Tortorici said. “Not only did she come back, she’s leading our team in points. We are so proud of how she’s handled the situation and overcame this obstacle. It’s a true testament to the type of person and player Brooke is.”

The team is strong in transition thanks to Lederer (11-4-15) and midfielders Isabella Levin (2-10-12) and freshman Kate Barnett (2-3-5).  Sophomore Jessica Stump has also contributed four goals and nine points.

The defensive corps has taken shape with junior Shauna Gregorio and sophomore Guliana D'Alessandro stepping up in the absence of injured junior Alissa Valente. D'Alessandro has especially contributed in transition as well as gaining 50-50 ground balls.

Senior Dynastee Ramos's 94 saves places her among the county leaders, which includes a season-high 14 in a 14-9 win over Plainview April 1.

After Kennedy, the Jets will close the season at MacArthur and Hewlett before hosting first-place Oyster Bay on May 9.