YORKTOWN HEIGHTS – Standing next to each other, the row of former Yorktown girls lacrosse greats was long during a special halftime ceremony at Saturday’s season opener against Arlington.
The ceremony celebrated the 10- and 20-year anniversaries of the 2006 and 1996 state-title-winning teams. Among those honored were several former All-Americans, the Huskers’ current coach, and the team’s former goalie, who is now the head coach at Ohio State and was a member of three state-champion teams.
As for the game itself, it was a bit of a slow start for the Huskers, but they found their offense late in the first half. Seven different players scored for Yorktown in a convincing 14-5 win.
“(Arlington) came out with a different defense and we had to adjust to that, but I thought we moved the ball well and got quality shots; I was very pleased with our goalie play,” said Yorktown head coach Ellen Mager, who also coached the state championship teams that were honored. “There’s a lot of strong feelings and care about this program.”
It was a strong way to start the season for Yorktown, a program that figures to be one of the favorites to win the Class B sectional title.
The last three years have ended in the same heartbreaking way for Yorktown: with a loss in the section final. Last year’s defeat, 10-9 to Somers on a buzzer-beating free-position goal, might have been the most heartbreaking of the three.
Seeing the former state championship teams only provides more fuel to the fire for this year’s team, a squad that features eight players committed to Division I schools.
“A lot of them are around all the time; they’ve shown us their state rings and told us the stories of how awesome it is to win the section, it really is inspiring,” said senior midfielder Casey Duff, a Syracuse commit. “We have room to improve, but we came out strong, and that’s always good for the first game.”
Also in attendance was the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team, which played at the high school against Binghamton the previous evening. The program’s head coach, former Yorktown star goalie Alexis Venechanos, was a member of the 1996 team, as well as state-title-winning teams in 1997 and 1998.
“It’s always great memories you have when you go back, and it makes it special,” Venechanos said. “Having the community that supports something that happened 20 years ago, that’s what’s it about, just the people and those memories.”
Player of the game: Katie Comerford, Yorktown. An All-American last season, the senior attack and Villanova commit got the season started off on the right foot with three goals and two assists to lead the Huskers.
Turning point: With 7:38 left in the first half, Arlington’s Danielle DeLorenzo scored to cut Yorktown’s lead to 3-1. Yorktown responded with four goals in the next six minutes to extend the lead to 7-1.
Stat line: Yorktown’s Michelle Seger had two goals and an assist, Ciara Frawley had two goals and two assists, Ashley Stilo had two goals, Caroline Garti scored her first two varsity goals, Duff had a goal and an assist and Julia Cook had a goal. … For Arlington, DeLorenzo and Abby Carlin had two goals each, with Danielle Heady chipping in with a goal and an assist. … Catherine Calidonna made seven saves for Yorktown, with teammate Alexa Delbene making four saves in relief. Arlington goalie Maryn Lowell made 12 saves.
Quotable: “It motivated us when they came out, and we got really pumped,” Comerford said of the halftime ceremony. “They are like idols to us; it always inspires us when we see them and hear them.”