Coming in at No. 12 in our top 20 rankings are the Connetquot Thunderbirds who have a lot to be excited about in 2023! They went 9-7 overall and appeared in the Class A playoffs last season as a five seed before being narrowly defeated by Huntington in the quarter finals. This year they will be fighting in a wide open conference for both a County and Long Island Championship and have the bulk of their team returning to do so.
Starting with Connetquot’s offense it proved to be explosive at times last season, averaging 11.6 goals per game. They return a trio of dominant offensive players in Tyler McCarthy, Tyler Moore, and Jake Gallose. Starting with McCarthy, the senior who is heading to Syracuse is an elite playmaker from the midfield who filled up the stat sheet with a gaudy 48 goals and 31 assists for 79 points. Moore the Saint Joesph’s bound senior is lefty goal scorer that can score in around the cage and step down and score from long range. Beyond scoring he’s shown that he is a great decision maker and knows when to find his teammates which led to him having 32 assists to go along with his 31 goals. Gallose the Quinnipiac commit enters his junior season after having an impressive sophomore campaign contributing with 24 goals at attack as an accurate catch and shoot finisher. Gallose is also a force on the ride making game altering plays. This offense figures to be one of the best in Suffolk County, although it will look slightly different without 2022 graduates Brayden Stellwagon and Brian Zecchini. This will create an even greater opportunity for sophomore attackman Carson Turissini who saw the field as a freshman and provided a jolt with 17 goals.
Shifting to the defensive side of the ball, their defense allowed just under 10 goals per game at 9.1. Returning this season is junior Aiden Dinnigan the future Molloy Lion who is the upperclassmen of this unit. The goaltending is expected to be held down by Connor Fitzgibbon who is in his junior season and briefly saw time in the net last season behind 2022 graduate Martin Halinski. Despite seeing limited action in the net, Fitzgibbon showed his value and versatility with his ability to also play as a long pole.
In a conference that is wide open with quite a handful of teams in contention, the Thunderbirds have a number of notable opponents on their schedule who they’ll be fighting with all season long for playoff positioning including Huntington (4/4), Ward Melville (4/15), Northport (4/22), and Half Hollow Hills (5/3). Before the league games get started they open the season with two non league games against East Islip (3/21), and Islip (3/23).