Tuckerton-Little Egg Harbor Leader

Pinelands Girls Lacrosse Looks to Improve With Deep Crew

Spring Sports Preview
Apr 06, 2018
Photo by: David Biggy Adrian Dieckman

Most athletic programs go through highs and lows in their existence. During each cycle of a program’s life, players go through turbulent and refinement periods, as well as stretches of success.

Last season was a turbulent period for the Pinelands Regional girls lacrosse squad, one in which many among its crew were refined by fire. This spring, the Wildcats may not experience as many valleys, given they have a bunch of players back from a year ago. But in the Shore Conference Class B South division, the hills will be difficult to climb.

“We are a young team, so we will be looking to bring up some freshmen and give them varsity exposure early on,” said coach Paul Millar, whose squad was winless in 16 games last season. “Our losing record last year bruised our girls’ egos a bit, so we just want to start off strong and get a win early on to build our confidence back up.”

With two seniors expected to lead the varsity roster – midfielder Samia Tariq and defender Alexis Bruno – the Wildcats largely will rely on younger players to score goals and solidify the defense.

Returning on the attack this spring are juniors Brianna Triebel and Fiona Farrell, along with sophomores Adrian Dieckman, Emily Kaszuba and Brooke Engelhardt. The midfielders back from a year ago include juniors Emily Staino and Jocelyn Amelung, and sophomore Frankie Disanzo.

The defensive unit is returning junior Tori Castillo, and sophomores Anna Mattina, Sam Kline, Erin Pomponio and Dayna Scapati. Goaltender Ryland Hagan also has returned.

“We are expecting to see great things from one of our standout players, Emily Staino, who started playing the game just last year but has the speed and skill that makes her unstoppable on the field,” Millar said. “Additionally, our goalies are both fairly new to the sport and position, but they’re picking up on it quickly and have shown excellent potential.”

Joining Hagan as part of the netminding crew is freshman Quinn Moore, while a handful of her classmates likely will see some time on the field to fill other roles. The freshman core consists of attackers Skylar Callahan, Layla Frost and Paula Handel; midfielder Jamielyn Hawkins; and defender Karianna Eagle.

“We are especially excited to see what Callahan and Hawkins have to offer, since both of their sisters were key players on our team two years ago and they seem to have the same athleticism,” said the coach.

Whether the roster depth and promising newcomers deliver positive results this season remains to be seen, especially in B South, which is home to several solid programs including Lacey, Jackson Liberty, Barnegat and Point Pleasant Borough. Donovan Catholic also is on the rise.

After their season opener on March 31 was postponed, the Wildcats were slated to begin the season in Lacey on April 5, followed by their home opener against Barnegat the next day. Pinelands will visit Jackson Liberty on April 10 and Manchester on April 13.

— David Biggy



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