No. 1 Ranked St. Anthony’s Friars Team Preview

Now to the number one team in the LILJ top 24 preseason rankings, it’s the St. Anthony’s Friars who are historically one of the national powerhouses in the country. Last year they were once again CHSAA Champions where they held on for an 8-7 win against Sacred Heart in the championship game. This year the Friars have a new leader in charge as Darcy Messina takes over as first year head coach. The team returns with a very deep and supremely talented senior class, and this winter they showed why they are arguably the top team in the country as they were LILJ HSWL Champions of the AAA bracket.

St. Anthony’s attack starts with one of the top recruits in the country in the 2024 class in Tess Calabria the UNC bound senior. Calabria is one of the most prolific and electrifying attackers that will quarterback a Friars offense that has plenty of playmakers and finishers. She’ll be a dominant force this season whether as a goal scorer or a feeder. Last season Calabria was good for 41 goals, and 18 assists for 59 points. The Friars attack also features key players in senior Hopkins commit Emily Haugen, junior Fairfield commit Kat Rathjen, and sophomore Emma Speed. In the winter league Haugen tallied 12 points along with seven caused turnovers, while Rathjen led the Friars 2025 team this winter with 16 goals over six games. In the 2026 class Emma Speed the lefty now enters her second season on varsity after being one of only two freshman on varsity last year where she found the back of the net 12 times with four assists for 16 points.

The midfield for St. Anthony’s is deeper than any other midfield on the island and will likely see a number of players produce in a big way this season. Starting in the senior class the Friars return Megan Kenny (Maryland), Jena Binkis (USF), Brooke Long (Penn State), Holly Hardwick (Holy Cross), and Riley Zusi (Florida). The speedy Kenny was their leading scorer from the midfield last season with 32 goals and 12 assists for 44 points, and this winter continued to showcase just how dangerous she is with 23 points through six games. Binkis will be a big difference maker on the draw circle as one of their primary draw takers, and is a true two-way middie that brings athleticism and versatility to the field and can fill the box score in a variety of ways. Between Long and Hardwick, the two combined for 21 points with eight from Long and 13 from Hardwick. The Florida commit Zusi will have a big role this season as a player who can play both midfield as well as be a lock-down defender.

In the junior class the Friars midfield consists of Hopkins commit Molly Hiney who now enters her second season on varsity, as well as second year varsity member Emma Toner the Lafayette commit, and Devan Lange who enters her first season on varsity. The Friars 2025 team this winter was led from the midfield by Hiney who struck for 14 points and was their primary draw taker.

On the defensive end of the field they welcome back senior defenders Amanda Paci (Duke), Maddie Morris (USF), Kate McConnachie (Columbia), and Emily Ambrozy (Trinity). In the junior class Syracuse bound Julia May O’Connors is now in her second season on varsity, and they also add Navy commit Analisa La Monica. One of the islands elite defenders in the 2026 class who is also part of this defense is Sophia Novelli who is a rarity in the program as she is now in her second varsity season after being on the team last year. The goaltending is headlined by their two seniors in UNC commit Lexi Zenk and Rutgers commit Stella Quilty making this the top goalie duo of any team going into the season. In the winter league both proved to be tough to score on between the 56% save percentage from Quilty and 50% save percentage by Zenk.

The 2024 season sees the Friars play a very high level schedule against other top programs both on and off Long Island, and at season’s end they hope to be hoisting their 24th CSHAA championship trophy.


One Comment

  1. Greg and Carol Speed says:

    Looking forward to an exciting season. Go Friars

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