By MIKE SMITH
With a one-sided 14-2 win over New Rochelle on April 1, the Mamaroneck girls lacrosse team bounced back from an opening day loss to get back to .500 on the year.
Mamaroneck head coach Chr-istina Smith is hoping the drubbing of the Huguenots is a sign of things to come as her talented squad gets ready to compete in the 2014 season.
Against the Huguenots on Tuesday, the Tigers were led by Brianna Steigerwald’s three-goal, one-assist performance as they took control from the opening draw and never looked back.
The win—Mamaroneck’s first on the season—is also new head coach Christina Smith’s first win with the Mamaroneck program. Since 2012, Smith has coached at John Jay High School, taking the team to the Class B state semifinals last year. So far, she said, her first season at the helm of the Tigers program has gone smoothly.
“They’re very hard working and it’s a really nice group,” she said. “We had indoor sessions back in January and played in a winter, which helped us get to know each other.”
So far, Smith said, the veterans on the team have done a nice job providing leadership, notably captain Greta Massey, who is a key cog on the team both on and off the field.
“Right now, she’s the only captain,” Smith said. “But she’s doing a really good job leading the team, she’s such a hard worker and the other girls see that.”
In the first two games, Smith has been impressed with the play of her midfielders, including Julia Simons and Katie Cotter. The group’s athleticism, she said, is key to Mamaroneck’s success.
“They’ve done a really nice job in the midfield, they’re all over the place,” Smith said. “We’ve got great speed there.”
The Tigers defense, a veteran group led by Sydney Segal, has also been a bright spot so far, according to the head coach. Despite the opening day loss to Somers, Smith was pleased with the way the defensive unit was able to lock-down the Tuskers’ top two scorers, Emma and Tara Schnur.
“Our defense has played together for a while and they’re catching on very quickly,” Smith said. “I was definitely happy with the way we played against Somers.”
With a 1-1 start, Smith and the Tigers know the road only gets tougher from here, with a competitive league schedule that should test the Tigers as the perennial playoff contenders make their way towards the postseason.
“I would say it’s probably the second-toughest league in the section,” Smith said. “With teams like White Plains and Scarsdale, we know we’re going to be facing some tough challenges this year.”
In order to compete, she added, the Tigers will need to focus on each test as it comes.
“I think it’s just about improving every single day,” she said. “Fixing those mistakes and continuously trying to get better.”
The Tigers will play their next two games on the road, traveling to Irvington and Horace Greeley, before returning home on April 10 when they host Pelham at 5 p.m.