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Elmont continues to battle


The Elmont girls made history on the lacrosse field in 2018, posting its best record of all-time, and winning a postseason game for the first time ever. The team finished with an overall record of 12-3.

The Lady Spartans lost a ton to graduation, including their top two scorers, but the program’s recent success has the current team members champing at the bit to perform well in what is a transition year. Elmont has a 3-4 overall record (3-3 in Nassau Conference IV) at the midway point of the season.

Success is being measured by more than just wins and losses in 2019. “We have a lack of experience, and that’s making things tough for us, but these girls have a lot of fight in them,” coach Kemola Webster said. “They’ve bought into putting in hard work to get better. They’re proving that we can play lacrosse here at Elmont.”

Sophomore Santona Joseph, playing goal for the first time, is drawing rave reviews for her steady improvement. Joseph sees the field well, communicates with the young defensive unit in front of her, and pushes herself to get better each day. She had a season-high 16 saves in a 12-11 overtime win over Plainview-JFK.

The backline is anchored by Gabrielle Rhone. The senior low defender has solid lacrosse IQ, clears the ball out the zone, and gets the team started on transition. Freshman Orobo Ogbovoh has moved from low attack to low defense. Ogbovoh’s basketball skills carry over naturally onto the lacrosse field.

Sophomore Pia Marquez’s ability to play multiple positions is a huge asset for the Spartans. Marquez can be called upon to play low D, midfield, or A-wing.

Elmont is deep and talented at midfield. Senior Lotanna Nwabudu, who has 16 goals and two assists for the season, is one of the players that opponents attempt to shut down. Nwabudu handles the draws, is a ground ball magnet, and gets it done on both ends of the field.

Senior Leeana Grandel is a strong, defensive-minded midfielder who can also score from time to time. Keturah Jackson does a great job with 50-50 balls. The senior A-wing scored six goals including the overtime winner against Plainview-Old Bethpage. Senior Alyana Bell is a tremendous athlete and solid defender.

Senior Tobi Fadugba is the consummate leader and the team’s go-to scorer. Fadugba, who had a career-high nine goals in a 16-12 win over West Hempstead, leads the team with 28 goals. Sephorah Bernier is a big part of the future of Elmont lacrosse. Bernier is a hard-working sophomore who shoots the ball well.

“We have great days, and we have learning days,” Webster said. “We’re still figuring out who we are. The key is staying positive during the tough times. Making the playoffs is always something we strive to do, but we’re working on smaller team goals.”

Elmont travels to Levittown Division on Thursday, April 25 at 10 a.m.