#1 Northport Lady Tigers Season Preview

The 2019 Northport Tigers have “unfinished business.” After losing in the Suffolk Class A Championship a season ago, the Tigers felt they left a lot on the field that day. Although a disappointing finish to what was a very successful 2018 season, the new and improved Northport girls lacrosse team is, above all things, left feeling hungry to regain dominance in Suffolk Class A.

The Lady Tigers only graduated 3 starters from a season ago. Most notably is Emerson Cabrera. Emerson took her talents to Gainsville where she has evolved from Mammalian to Reptilian. Cabrera was a do it all midfielder for the Tigers. Her loss will be felt, but it will also create opportunity for other tiger cubs to emerge. Nicole Orella is another key loss for Northport. Nicky headed west to Ann Arbor to compete for the Michigan Wolverines.

Northport girls lacrosse is one of the most successful programs in Northport High School history. A lot of that has to do with legendary Head Coach Carol Rose. Rose has been coaching high school lacrosse for 28 years, earning her 400th career win after a one-goal thriller over Ward Melville a season ago. Coach Rose has produced countless Division I talents. Something interesting about Coach Rose’s alumni network is many of her players have coached or are still coaching at the collegiate and high school levels. This list includes current Northport Assistant Coach and Notre Dame alumni Cortney Fortunato.

Climbing into this season, it’s important to note the Lady Tigers have a solid Senior class who are all determined to end their career with a ring. This Senior group refers to themselves as the ‘Nasty 19’s’ because of their tough play and fear none mentality. The ‘Nasty 19’s’ have been playing together since they were in 2nd and 3rd grades, and these girls view each other as family, with a bond that is unbreakable. This 2019 Class has been dreaming of winning a State Championship since they started playing lacrosse.

The Lady Tigers defensive unit is one of the best in the county. The leader of their defense is Senior goalkeeper and one of the team captains Claire Morris. Claire will be suiting up in Silver and Scarlet for Ohio State next year. Morris has been playing lacrosse since she was four years old, as her older brothers would stick her in net and pepper the cage with shots. Claire thanks her brothers for making the game feel slower once she would compete against her own age in PAL and travel games. It didn’t stop there. In 7th grade, Claire was pulled up to varsity to compete for Northport. Ever since, Claire has grown tremendously as a stopper, vocal leader, and athlete. Other Senior leaders on defense include Skidmore commit Sophia Craco, Stony Brook commit Chloe Hoschel, and Pace commit Bella Hubbard. All three of these girls play phenomenal one-on-one defense, and have the ability to cause turnovers. Playing together since youth ball has helped the cohesion of Northport’s defensive unit as a whole.

On offense, Northport will turn to Duke commit Olivia Carner. Carner has Championship experience because she’s a multi-sport athlete who helped Northport Girls Soccer secure a County Championship in the Fall. Carner is one of the most prolific goal scorers on Long Island. Not only is she lethal on the offensive end, but she is very good at gaining possessions off the draw circle. If you would ask Carner about Northport’s success at the draw she’d say it’s due to her special connection with counterpart Danielle Pavinelli. Like Carner, Pav is a very good athlete who is a star on the Northport girls field hockey team and girls hoop team. Pav works great with Carner on the draw and are very effective on the offensive end together. Expect Pav to break out and put up big numbers in 2019. The Tigers have got to be excited about aquiring Massapequa Junior transfer Alexa Gentile who is committed to play lacrosse at North Carolina. When asking the ‘Nasty 19’s’ about how Gentile is fitting in with her new team, they replied, “she’s doing great, we love her.” Kate McLam is a sleeper attacker for the Tigers. McLam is a slippery X attacker with good vision and nose for the goal. Her time starting as a sophomore will provide some much needed in game experience for the upcoming season.

This year is the inaugural season for Northport lacrosse to play on their newly renovated field-turf stadium up at the High School. After driving by recently, we can say for certain, “the vibe at their home games is going to be electric!” Northport lacrosse has been playing their home games down the road on Bellerose Avenue at Northport Veterans Park for years. The Tigers have been fortunate to compete at this beautiful and newly constructed town complex. However, there is something special about competing on your school grounds as students pour out the door after the 9th period bell, eager to watch their lacrosse team play.

The Tigers have a lot of key matchups this season. This list included their season opener against Half Hollow Hills. If you’re a Northport girls lacrosse fan you have got to be stoked for conference games against No. 2 seed Riverhead, No. 3 seed Middle Country, Ward Melville, and Smithtown East. The girls of Northport are circling their calendars for the #1 vs. #2 match-up against Riverhead. That will be a good test to see who’s really in control of Suffolk Class A in 2019.

Key Losses

Emerson Cabrera (2018, Florida)

Nicole Orella (2018, Michigan)

Key Returners

Claire Morris (2019 GK, Ohio State)

Sophia Craco (2019 D, Skidmore)

Chloe Hoschel (2019 D, Stony Brook)

Bella Hubbard (2019 D, Pace)

Danielle Pavinelli (2020 M, Florida)

Alexa Gentile (2020 M, North Carolina)

Olivia Carner (2019 M, Duke)

Kate McLam (2020 M, Stony Brook)

Key Games

Vs. Smithtown East

Vs. Ward Melville

Vs. Riverhead

Vs. Middle County

Returning STAT Leaders

Olivia Carner

Danielle Pavinelli

2018 Honors

Olivia Carner (2019, All-County)

Claire Morris (2019, All-County)

Danielle Pavinelli (2020, All-County)

Chloe Hoschel (2019, All-League)

Bella Hubbard (2019, All-League)

Kate McLam (2020, All-League)

Playoff History

2018- Suffolk County Finalist

2017- Suffolk County Finalist

2016- Suffolk County Semifinals

2015- Suffolk County Semifinals

2014- Suffolk County Semifinals

2013- Suffolk County Semifinals

2011- New York State Champions

2009- Suffolk County Champions

Notable Alumni

Meghan McNamara (Maryland)

Jillian Byers (Notre Dame)

Corinne Gandolfi (Hofstra)

Shannon Gilroy (Florida)

Cortney Fortunato (Notre Dame)

Dorrien Van Dyke (Stony Brook)

Brook Gubitosi (Stony Brook)

See previews for every Long Island team by purchasing the LILJ app for $2.99 on your local app store (Apple) (Google Play) (Amazon)

 

 

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