CITY GIRLS LACROSSE PREVIEW: Paletta takes over Stamford program
STAMFORD — Girls Lacrosse is a sport that is looking to get more traction this season on the high school level in the city of Stamford.
Steve Paletta takes over the Stamford High girls lacrosse program.
His resume is impressive and perfect for the Black Knights.
He followed up a stellar career as a lacrosse defenseman at Cornell University with years of service with the Bedford (NY) Youth Lacrosse and Greenwich Youth Lacrosse.
He currently has two daughters playing women’s lacrosse at Cornell and a third is playing at Brown University.
“The girls are working so hard. They are very athletic,” Paletta said. “Their background in lacrosse is what is lacking. The majority of our roster is in only their first or second season ever playing the sport.”
Stamford High has four captains — seniors Sydney Leeds, Kelly Jagodzinski and Carly Bennett along with junior Olivia LaBella.
“The foursome have embraced the role,” Paletta said. “We have lots of sophomores and freshmen so good leaders are a necessity.
Returning in goal for the Black Knights is senior Reaging Hyppolite.
“The girls are very receptive to teaching,” Paletta said. “The girls need to believe how good they can be. They need to build confidence. They need our coaching. The potential is tremendous. My goal is to build a program that will be competitive in the FCIAC.”
Kim Devellis returns as Westhill coach. She has seniors Erica Shaulson and Jackie Fahey as well as junior Grace Hansen as captains.
Sophomore Tori Morgan is the goalie.
At 4-11 overall, Westhill missed qualifying for the Class L state tournament by three victories.
“Last year was a step forward. Our expectations are high again this season,” Devellis said. “We think we can qualify for the state tournament. We think it’s possible. Consistency is the key after graduating five seniors from last year. We can play together despite a youthful roster.”
The King staff of head coach Jay Kavanagh, associate head coach Emily Prince and assistant Brady Miller are optimistic as the Vikings come off a 6-11 campaign in the FAA.
Topping the graduation losses was Jane Tully, who scored 62 goals for King and is a freshman on the Fairfield University women’s lacrosse team.
“Our girls are ready to compete. We’ve set up a tougher non-league schedule this season which will help,” King’s Kavanagh said. “It’s time for girls lacrosse to build up in Stamford.”
The King captains are seniors Morgan Riley (attack) and Maria Papanicolaou.
The goalies are sophomores Esme White, a field hockey goalie, and Lauren Zide. Junior Dhasiya Anderson could be a factor later in the season.
Pacing the attack will be Morgan Riley, juniors Riley Hicks and Claire Tully along with senior Katherine Burke.
Leading the defense will be sophomore Jessica Price as well as juniors Christine Nelli and Gerardine Harris, all returnees.