Mix of veterans, newcomers pace Molloy

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“Staying healthy is our No. 1 goal,” Longo said. “If we do, our offense should be vastly improved. The ladies have a great attitude and I like the way we’ve been practicing. We have more numbers than ever in the program.”

Longo wants nothing more than to see Allison Sloper and Casey Filippone on the field together up front. Both missed last season due to injury, and Filippone has been limited to just six games in two years. Sloper, who led Molloy in scoring in 2011 when she poured in 12 goals and assisted on six others, is a senior with solid all-around skills. Filippone has two goals and one assist to her credit. “So far, so good,” Longo said of Sloper and Filippone. “I’m excited to see what they can do. We need them out there.”

After getting lots of playing time as freshmen and contributing four and three goals, respectively, Alicia Mercurio and Alexa De La Torre could see time at forward or in the midfield. Two newcomers, junior Casey Nabb, the Region XV Player of the Year out of Nassau Community College, and true freshman Danielle Valente, will add lots to the offense. Longo sees Naab as the target forward in the middle, with Valente serving as an attacking midfielder.

The addition of Valente, who was heavily recruited out of Ward Melville High School according to Longo, could allow senior Samantha Saad to slide from midfield back to defense. Saad, who tied Mercurio for the team lead in goals a year ago, can boom the ball and get the Lady Lions going in transition. Junior Annette Mims is the anchor of a defense that also includes junior Jacqui Valentine and freshman Gianne Jennosa. Junior Nicole DellaPorta returns at goalkeeper along with senior backup Tricia Zarro.

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