By MIKE SMITH
On April 3, taking on their archrivals from Rye, the Harrison Huskies struggled mightily, falling to the perennial Section I powerhouse by a score of 17-1.
Despite the loss to the Garnets, Huskies coach Jon-Erik Zappala is confident his squad is on the cusp of turning things around this season.
Rye’s Charlotte Tucci scored five goals in the Garnet win last week during a game that saw Harrison unable to control the ball or mount much of an attack against its opponents. The win gave the Garnets a perfect 3-0 record on the young season, while Harrison fell to 1-2.
Even in defeat, Zappala said he saw some positive signs from his team.
“We’re working to get better,” he said. “In that last game, I think we did a lot better in our transitions, but it’s going to be a process.”
Although Zappala has several seniors filling important roles for the Huskies this year, including Erica Dettero, Jess Finklestein and Marissa Goldstein–who is coming back from an injury that sidelined her in 2013–he also has several underclassmen looking to make their mark on the varsity level this year. The Huskies are currently carrying numerous youngsters–including an eighth grader–that need to find a way to play together this year.
“We’ve got kind of a conglomerate of players,” Zappala said. “I think that, once they find that chemistry and work out some of the kinks, we’ve got the chance to be pretty good.”
So far, Zappala said, the weather has worked against the Huskies building any sort of continued rhythm. With much of the preseason washed out due to rain, Zappala said the team has been practicing inside, which has hindered its development.
“It’s just different playing inside, different types of lights, you don’t have the width of the field,” he said. “So, until the games started, it was more difficult for us to get good looks at our players.”
Through the first three games, Zappala said the biggest obstacle facing his team is going to be the girls’ ability to adapt to a more defensive-minded style of play. With a number of talented athletes on the team, Zappala said it’s only a matter of time before the defense starts clicking and keeping the Huskies in games.
“A lot of these girls came in with an offensive-driven style,” he said. “But, in a game like lacrosse, you constantly have to be playing both offense and defense and that’s something they’ll learn as the season goes on.”
The Huskies have a full slate this week as they will host Eastchester on April 10, after press time, and travel to Bronxville on April 13 to take on Broncos.
“I’m definitely looking forward to a great season,” Zappala said. “We’ve got a great group and we’re just looking to take things one game at a time.”