By MIKE SMITH
After a long reign as the top-dog in Section I, Mamaroneck found itself on the losing end of a championship celebration last fall after losing a thriller to Suffern in the Class A title game. Eager to regain their top spot, the Tigers come into the 2013 season with something to prove.
With 10 seniors from last year’s squad–including six starters–lost to graduation, the Tigers will have some new faces on the field, but they do have some key returnees in essential spots.
“We’ve got some girls coming back,” said head coach John Savage. “But the interesting thing is, it looks like we might have some juniors, and even sophomores, competing against older girls for spots, so there is definitely some stiff competition.”
Katherine Goodman and Greta Massey will be two of the seniors that Savage will call upon to lead the way in 2013 as the two senior captains should anchor the defensive unit. Savage is also looking for big contributions from sisters Ellie and Karen Seid as well as Kimi Chiapparelli, who will be taking over center midfield duties this year. According to the head coach, the team will benefit from having a number of capable players on the field at all times as opposed to last year, when he felt the squad relied heavily on the presence of top-scorer Hannah Fitzgerald.
“I’m liking the style of play we’ve seen so far from all 11 girls,” he said. “I don’t think we have that one dominant player, but I think we’re sharing the ball, showing an all-around team game.”
The Tigers took a preseason trip to Bermuda and have taken on some top-flight schools such as Hotchkiss. Savage was pleased with his team’s play in the preseason, but stressed that the Tigers would have to be on their game at all times if they hope to reach their lofty preseason goals.
“We’re going to have to give 100 percent all the time,” he said. “We’ve been the top dog for a while, but we got knocked off our perch, and now other teams see that.”
As usual, the Tigers schedule is among the toughest in the section, with games against strong programs like Bronxville, Fox Lane, Putnam Valley and Connecticut champs Darien on the docket. On Oct 9, Mamaroneck will take on Suffern in a rematch of last year’s title game, but Savage said, to the Tigers, it’s just another game.
“We’ve got to come out aggressive in every game,” said Savage. “We can’t overlook anyone on our schedule. Our most important game is always the next one.”