Continuing with our preseason top 20 rankings it’s the Sacred Heart Spartans coming in at 13. This perennial parochial contender will once again be battling it out with rival St. Anthony’s for supremacy in Class AA. This year they will have a new voice leading them as Danielle Etrasco enters her first season as head coach taking over for Morgan O’Connor. Although they graduated a core group of players in 2022, they have a number of key returning players that will have them in contention.
Taking a look at their attack, one of their key returns is junior Elizabeth Darcy the Richmond commit who led the attack unit with 17 goals. Playing for the Spartans in the LILJ High School Winter 7s, Darcy was third on the team in points with 17, scoring 13 goals with four assists. Along side her is fellow junior Sienna Prisco who’s committed to Marist and is likely in for an impactful 2023 season. Like Darcy, Prisco had a strong winter league where she found the back of the net 11 times.
The Spartans midfield this season will surely be a strength for them. As a sophomore last year Kaylee Fravert (USC) exploded onto the scene with 33 goals and seven assists for 40 points. After a huge winter campaign Fravert’s game will only rise throughout the spring season where she will be the driving force of their midfield. Charlotte Browne (Ohio St.) is another junior who also rose the occasion last year as a sophomore and has only elevated her game with a dominant winter where she was the Spartans most prolific scorer with 27 goals.
Defensively they return two of their premiere defenders in juniors Kaitlyn Cole (Boston College) and Rosalie Haffner (Holy Cross). Cole who enters her third year as a starter is immediately after every ball that hits the ground, and when she is in the open field clearing the ball its lights out for opponents trying to chase her down. Haffner is a stifling defender that wreaks havoc in the caused turnover department leading to transition offensive opportunities. As for the goaltending it will look different this year, but two goalies who got plenty of reps this winter that will play a factor at some point are sophomore Grace Didora and freshman Ava Lamantia.
Sacred Heart will surely be an upper echelon team on the island with this returning cast of players, but they will be missing some integral players who were in the class of 2022 such as Shannon Maier, Cate Bendowski, Kyra Browne and Caitlin Boden. This could open the door for sophomores like Cady Flaherty (Midfield) and Janea Morton (Defense) to have an even more enhanced role this season. Flaherty is one who has taken her game to new heights becoming one of top middies on Long Island in the 2025 class.
The Spartans are set to begin the 2023 season with their first official game on March 29th when they host St. John the Baptist. Their two highly anticipated matchups against rival St. Anthony’s are April 17th and May 8th. With a very competitive overall schedule some of their other noteworthy games include North Shore (4/8), Manhasset (4/10), Cold Spring Harbor (4/13), Sacred Heart CT (4/22), and Suffern (4/29).