Continuing the climb towards the top of our top 20 teams ahead of the start to regular season games, we get to No. 7 the Massapequa Chiefs. This season they have to be feeling like this is their year to take home Class A Long Island Championship and potentially a New York State Championship. They’ve appeared in the LIC each of the last two seasons where their season came to end at the hands of Northport. Head Coach Erin Kollar who has been at the helm for four years shared her perspective on her team in 2023. “We have a talented and experienced group coming back this season who are looking to take Massapequa girls lacrosse to new heights.”
Offensively Massapequa is a team that has a supremely talented midfield unit. Beginning with the Syracuse bound senior Joely Caramelli, her talent has helped elevate this Chiefs team to a championship contender and she will be the driving force of their offense. She does it all whether it’s scoring, feeding, or on the defensive end. Caramelli is elite at controlling the draw, giving Massapequa a distinct advantage against most teams. In 2022 she had a team high in both goals and assists with 44 and 28 for 72 points. The talent in their midfield continues with senior Bridget Valentine the UMass commit who sees the entire field at a high level and is dangerous in the open field in transition. Defensively Valentine is one who is very feisty whether it’s defending both on and off-ball. Rounding out the starting trio of midfielders is senior Jess Giller who’s committed to Jacksonville. Giller is a long, athletic middie that is a high level distributor that also provides a big scoring presence. Last year she dished out 27 assists and also added 23 goals for 50 points.
The attack unit for Massapequa features the return of senior Ashley Melillo (Cortland). Last season Melillo scored a total of 24 goals and proved to be clutch in the big games as she scored three goals in the LIC. Among their other returning seniors on attack are Ellie Leisen (Fisher), Kate Ciarlo (Marist), and Caitlyn Dorman who combined for 40 points last season. This year could potentially be a breakout season for the talented sophomore Micaela Gillis who is a multifaceted player who was part of last year’s team as a freshman and contributed with four goals and also took draws. The main difference between last year and this year is the attack unit will be without 2022 graduate Kimberly Greenblatt.
Defensively there will be some differences this year as they are without defenders Olivia Marlow and Kali Konstantinakos along with goalie Lulu Cardello who were all graduates in the 2022 class. Their absence will leave the Chiefs with spots to fill, but one defender that returns for her senior year is the Siena commit Mary Koster who is one of their starters. As for the goaltending they welcome back seniors Christina Fradella (MIT) and Olivia Alonso who each played behind Cardello last season. If Massapequa gets similar goalie production to what they got last year, they will once again be one of the upper echelon defenses in the Power Conference.
Like every team in the Power Conference Massapequa has very competitive schedule ahead of them. To open the season they will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida on March 24th. Some of their other notable matchups include Comsewogue (4/8), Cold Spring Harbor (4/11), Garden City (4/19), Long Beach (4/25), Sacred Heart CT (4/29), and Manhasset (5/2).