Written by Robert B. Bonaparte Thursday, 13 March 2014 00:00
Coach Erica Brennan feels Sewanhaka’s girls lacrosse program is making strides to compete this year.
“We just need to develop a sense of game knowledge,” said Brennan, who is entering her seventh season as varsity coach. “That’s one of the things we lack overall, we have girls who are fast and learned the skills of catching and throwing, but we need to work on our game knowledge. And that comes with experience.”
The Indians, who have never made the playoffs in Brennan’s tenure, will kick off their season March 14 at home against the Elmont Spartans.
Sewanhaka’s roster has yet to be finalized, but Brennan said the squad will consist of mostly juniors, a couple of freshmen and one returning senior with midfielder, Cynthia Devendran.
Brennan said the strength of the team, will be the defense, which is anchored by junior defender Daniella Ford.
“She has a great feel and game sense,” Brennan said. “She’s a (varsity) basketball player so she moves the ball well. She always wants to play on offense but I tell her ‘No, we need you on defense.’”
Ford will play alongside junior defender Michelle Niles, who also played varsity basketball. Brennan feels they bring their basketball chemistry onto the lacrosse field.
“They communicate pretty well,” said Brennan. “They understand the concept of goal movement, you know, move, pass and cut. Sometimes it’s hard to explain that concept to kids”
Junior Nicole Santoli will be the starting goalie for the third straight season.
“She’s smart, clears the ball very well,” said Brennan. “She’s not afraid to direct the defense and when there big plays you can count on her to stop it.”
On offense, Brennan said she expects big things from junior attacker Skylar Shimansky. She is expected to fill the void left by graduate Kaitlyn Dempsey, who led the team in goals scored last year.
Brennan also said she expects big things from the freshmen Kylie Woo, Sandy Padilla-Ortega and Mariah Villerreal . She feels that these ninth-graders are the start of a new wave of Sewanhaka students, who play lacrosse all year.
“We’re a fairly new program,” said Brennan, who didn’t want to disclose the names of the ninth graders since rosters haven’t been finalized. “We don’t have a strong foundation but these elementary kids are playing lacrosse all the time. These (freshmen) girls are the same girls that after practice they’re playing on the field by themselves on a Saturday morning.”