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Youthful Calhoun aims to rebound

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First-year Calhoun coach Melissa Rohr had mixed emotions April 17 when her current and former teams met in a Nassau Conference III girls’ lacrosse matchup.

“Torn feelings for sure,” Rohr said after visiting Mepham defeated the Lady Colts, 13-10, behind an eight-point performance by Jamie Maddaluno, who had four goals and four assists. “It was a good game and competitive all the way,” she added. “We had some turnovers they capitalized on and they did a nice job on the draws.”

Senior midfielder Sarah Tappeto had a breakout game for Calhoun (4-6 overall) with seven goals, while youngsters Sofia Mescolotto (eighth grade), Maggie Araneo (freshman) and Olivia Correa (freshman) also found the back of the net. It was the third straight conference setback for the Lady Colts, who had won their first three against Conference III rivals.

“It’s been an interesting year so far,” said Rohr, who spent the previous three seasons as Mepham’s coach. “We were seeded at the top of the conference, but we’re super young. We had to replace the entire defense and a lot of the scoring. It’s been a learning curve, but we’re still looking to make playoffs.”

Tappeto, who will play soccer at the next level, upped her goal total on the season to 28 in the loss. Her biggest came shorthanded with less than a minute to go to beat Hewlett, 9-8, on March 25. “Sarah’s pretty consistent and leads by example,” Rohr said. “She’s always going to get her two or three goals.”

Calhoun faced the Lady Pirates without the services of sophomore attack Riley Raines, who was out sick. Raines takes the majority of draws and has 17 goals and five assists through 10 games. “She loves the sport and wants to play in college,” Rohr said of Raines, who scored five goals, including the overtime winner, April 2 to lead a 10-9 conference victory over MacArthur. “We rely on her a lot.”

The rest of the starting attack is also young and talented. Mescolotto opened the campaign with four goals in a wild 15-14 win over Floral Park and has scored five more times since. “She’s not the biggest kid but she’s fast and really dangerous around the cage,” Rohr said. Correa, who has six goals and seven assists, is a lefty shooter with a cannon shot, the coach said, and the ability to make things happen in traffic. Araneo also has 13 points.

Establishing an identity on defense remains a work in progress, Rohr said, with a mostly new group consisting of senior Emily Rawson, juniors Laila Savoca and Lily Conlon, and sophomore Lauren Rossi. In goal, returning starter Lauren Boldis is the anchor in the back. “She’s been a constant all season long,” Rohr said of the sophomore stopper. “She’s calm and confident and a vocal leader.”

Conference games remain against Hicksville (away April 30), Division (home May 2) and Bethpage (away May 8.) “We might have to win out to make the playoffs,” Rohr said.