Lynbrook healthy for playoffs


Lynbrook’s girls’ lacrosse team will have a healthy roster for the first time this season on Thursday when it looks to win its first round playoff matchup. 

            The Owls suffered through a slew of injuries to key players, including junior Brooke Mazzei who missed half the season and returned to action on April 15, junior Gabby Meszaros, and senior captains Jesse Bodian and midfielder Caroline Larow.  

First-year coach Joe LaBarbera knew just how much of an impact having those players back on the field would mean. 

“Brooke missed half the season and has been averaging four or five goals in the games since she been back in,” LaBarbera said of Mazzei “She’s all over the place, she can really win any matchup on the offensive end. This is huge for us because when she is winning her matchups and drawing slides, she is getting other girls open and involved in the game.

Meszaros coming back serves to be the equivalent on defense of having Mazzei return on the offensive end. 

“She’s going to help the whole defensive side,” LaBarbera said of Meszaros. “She is a freak athlete and can lock anybody down, she is always a threat to push in transition.” 

LaBarbera also believes having the returning captains’ leadership on a fairly young team will help keep its composure and have guidance in the locker room. 

Mazzei has 28 goals and 8 assists. Junior Olivia Palleschi has 27 goals and 18 assists to lead the team in points with 45. Junior Penelope Yaker has 22 goals and 12 assists.

“Our whole offense runs through them, they are a threat to score and could feed,” LaBarbera said of Palleschi and Yaker. “They really work well off each other, a lot of their assists go towards each other.”

Another key contributor is sophomore Sophie Deifel, who has 23 goals and nine assists and takes every draw. 

            In the net, the Owls incorporate a two-goalie system alternating senior Marie Costello and freshman Delia Kirkpatrick. Costello has made 72 saves while Kirkpatrick has made 56 stops. Costello has helped to nurture her younger counterpart and relished the opportunity to mentor her into being the best goalie that she can be. 

            “Those two are always together,” LaBarbera said. “If Deifel ever gives up a huge play Costello is always there to hype her up or give her a hug. There is no competition there its all love between them.”

The Owls are coming off back-to-back losses on May 9 to Plainedge, 12-7, and May 6 to Carle Place, 9-5.

Lynbrook finished the regular season with a mark of 6-7 in Nassau Conference II, which was good enough to earn it the seventh seed in the Class C tournament as it awaits the winner of the Roslyn/ Friends Academy play-in matchup.

The Owls defeated both Roslyn and Friends Academy during the regular season in tight games, 11-7 and 7-5, respectively. Should Lynbrook win its playoff opener, a tough challenge in the form of No. 2 Wantagh would be next this Saturday.