It’s one of the top teams in the country the Chaminade Flyers coming in at No. 2 in our top 20 rankings. Like they do each year they will be fighting for the Catholic AAA Championship against long standing rival St. Anthony’s. The Flyers are coached by long time Head Coach Pete Moran who has been the head man of this program for 43 years, winning a total of 21 championships. Last year it took an overtime defeat in the championship game at the hands of the Friars, meaning that this season Chaminade will be looking to turn the tables. As they do each year they will be playing a national schedule and have plenty of senior leadership in their returning players.
The Bayport Blue Point Phantoms are not only one of the best teams on the island and in the state, but one of the deepest teams as they enter our top 20 rankings at No. 3. They made history in 2021 winning their first ever Long Island Championship, and although they came up short in the LIC last year, they return the vast majority of their team that is hoping that this will be their year. They will be challenged this season in a loaded Class C that has a plethora of teams that are legitimate contenders, but it’s been shown the last two years that the Phantoms are the team to beat in Suffolk County.
Entering the top three of our top 20 rankings, the reigning New York State Class C Champion Manhasset Indians come in at No. 3. A team that will be poised to repeat will have a bit of a different look with some key graduates in the class of 2022, but they return a strong core that will have them right back in contention. Head Coach Keith Cromwell says he looks forward to seeing how his team responds as they come in as the ones being hunted this season. “Excited to see many different players step and how this years team handles being state champions last season. There’s great competition on both sides of the ball especially the defensive side along with the goalie position. Excited to see the guys compete in the early part of the season to earn spots.”
Our 4th ranked team in our top 20 rankings are the reigning New York State Class C Champions from Manhasset. This year it’s all about looking to defend the title and make it back-to-back. The team is poised to repeat but will look a little different this year without players like Alexis Morton Ashley Newman, Annalisa Massaro, and Despina Giannakopoulos. However they still return the much of last year’s team and are ready to begin their title defense.
The Shoreham Wading River Wildcats are in the top five of our top 20 rankings, coming at No. 4. This team is back and is loaded with an abundance of talent especially on the offensive side of the ball. Last year they were defeated in the county finals and will look to get over that hump this year and bring home a Long Island and state championship which would be their first since 2019. Head Coach Mike Taylor who has been leading these young men for the past nine seasons gave his thoughts on the upcoming season. “We return 95% of our offense. We have a team that is hungry and with playoff experience. We will need to play a 110 yard game to reach our goal.”
Now into the top 5 in our top 20 teams ahead of the start to regular season games, it’s the Ward Melville Patriots of Suffolk Class A that slide into the fifth spot. They will be looking to seize the opportunity this year and bring home some hardware after being on the precipice of appearing in the LIC last year. The majority of their team returns having gained valuable postseason experience. Head Coach Stephanie Peragallo enters year two at the helm and shared what the key to success will be in 2023. “Ward Melville is coming off a strong season with 20 returners. Key to success will be to replace Courtney Quinn on the draw. We are very excited to prove last year wasn’t luck .”
Making the top five of our top 20 teams to start the season are the Garden City Trojans who aim to defend their Class B New York State Championship. They are one of Long Island’s most decorated programs with such a rich history and they come back this year looking to add to the legacy of this program. Head Coach Steve Finnell who has been at the helm since 2007 says that they have several experienced players returning that were a part of their success in both 2021 and 2022.
Coming in at No. 6 in our top 20 teams are the Hurricanes of Westhampton Beach. This year they are looking to follow up what was the most successful season in the history of their program where they won the Class B Long Island Championship in a historic six overtime affair. This year they move over to Class C, adding to what was already the deepest conference on the island. They return a total of 19 players and are coached by Mary Bergmann who is in her tenth season at the helm. Coach Bergmann expressed her excitement about her returning team and the challenges that lie ahead. “We are so excited to be back together on the field and make some waves in Class C. As the number two seed overall we don’t have an easy schedule so this year is going to be a lot of fun but it’s also going to be challenging because of how many quality programs are in C this year.”
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.”
The Wantagh Warriors enter at No. 8 in our top 20 rankings. After coming close the last couple of seasons to appearing in the Class C Long Island Championship Game, Wantagh will aim to get over the hump in 2023. This year they will be coached by Lauren Ruppert who enters her first season as the coach of the Warriors coming over from Our Lady of Mercy. Coach Ruppert gave her thoughts about her team as they approach the beginning of the season. “‘Hold the rope’. I look forward to watching these girls make magic on the field, being a team, and playing together. Once they learn to trust every single person on their team, there is nothing they can’t do.”