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Seaford seeks late turnaround

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The Seaford girls’ lacrosse team enters the second half of the season looking to flip the script.

The Lady Vikings faced tough competition in the early going in dropping their first six games, but is progressing heading into the heart of conference play. A 17-12 win against Floral Park on April 1 gave Seaford its first taste of victory in what second-year head coach Tim Brace hopes builds confidence for the stretch run.

“We had a tough non-conference schedule and that will hopefully that help us in the long-run,” said Brace, the former Bethpage coach who took over the Seaford program last year after Kurt Dankenbrink decided to step away. “We want the girls to take that next step and come mentally prepared to practice at game speed.”

Seaford boasts a talented senior class led by attacker Caitlin Costello and midfielder Gina Toscano. Costello entered the week with 11 goals including three in the Floral Park win. The LIU-Post-bound Toscano has registered 23 points on 16 goals and seven assists. 

“She is the most gifted player on our team,” Brace said of Toscano. “She does everything.”

Junior attacker Grace Pupke has also ignited the Seaford offense with 17 goals and eight assists through the first eight games that included five tallies in a 19-13 non-league loss at Kellenberg on March 25. Senior attacker Vanya Ruano is taking on a bigger offensive role in her final season of high school lacrosse and broke out with four goals in the Floral Park victory. Juniors Sophia Boloukus and Jolie Kistinger provide additional offensive weapons from the midfield along with freshman Alexandra Leggio, who has registered 11 goals.

“She is playing well above her age,” Brace said of the standout freshman.

Senior Adrianna Schiavone helps anchor the Seaford defense after transferring from Floral Park. Fellow senior Britney Sirota has shined at goalie delivering 13 saves in the Floral Park win and 11 stops in an 11-10 overtime loss at Patchogue-Medford on March 23.

Seaford entered the week at 1-3 in Conference II, but with plenty of games left to turn the record around. All Conference II teams qualify for the postseason, but Brace said finishing near the top of the league standings is important in order to give the Vikings as high a seed as possible for the Class C playoffs. Last year a more senior-laden Seaford squad defeated Friends Academy in the first round before falling to sixth-seeded Wantagh, 11-7 in the quarterfinals.

“We just to need to take that next step and hopefully that happens soon,” Brace said. “We could be right in the mix at the end of the season.”

After a road game at Lynbrook earlier this week, Seaford will host Plainedge in a neighborhood clash this Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Lady Vikings will then face Jericho for an April 16 road title before closing the season at home against Oyster Bay on May 2 and Carle Place on May 6.