Leadership, Character, and Dedication Highlight Season

Whitman senior Giuliana Rizzotti gets by her defender.
Whitman senior Giuliana Rizzotti gets by her defender.
Casey File, a senior gets her first goal of the day.
Casey File, a senior gets her first goal of the day.
Giuliana Rizzotti gets one by the goalie.
Giuliana Rizzotti gets one by the goalie.
Senior Julia Cranz at Attack, moves the ball.
Senior Julia Cranz at Attack, moves the ball.
Freshman Midfielder Nicole DeLuca, #2, passes to her backup #14, Essence Casey
Freshman Midfielder Nicole DeLuca, #2, passes to her backup #14, Essence Casey
Casey File, breaks free and looks for her shot on goal.
Casey File, breaks free and looks for her shot on goal.
Giuliana Rizzotti always attracted a crowd.
Giuliana Rizzotti always attracted a crowd.

With his team exiting in the first round of the lacrosse playoffs, Whitman’s head coach Mr. John Labate remains positive and philosophical as he looks back over the tremendous growth the team experienced in just one season. “The 2013 girls’ lacrosse season was absolutely incredible,” said Coach Labate. “We were training in the fitness center and on the cold track in late January when we, as a team, set a goal. That goal was to make it to the playoffs. We started off league play with a profoundly important loss against a powerful West Islip. We told the girls that losses are okay, as long as we lose as a team and learn something from it. We learned a lot. We learned that we had an incredible group of girls, a group who played one of the toughest teams in the league to an 8-15 loss. The coach from West Islip complimented our team and was amazed at how much we grew over one season.”

As the spring season progressed, the team progressed as well, learning valuable lessons from tough losses as well as hard-earned wins. “Learning how to overcome these difficulties made us a more cohesive and competitive team,” said Coach Labate.  “We took the season one game at a time, with a game plan based on our opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. Our biggest accomplishment, besides making the playoffs, is how smartly we played. This is evident in the fact that three of our ten wins were won by a goal. As the season went on, each additional win allowed us to believe that we are one of the elite teams in Suffolk County.”

 

The team was seeded #12 as they got set to face off against the #5 seed in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, May 17.  West Babylon’s season record was not all that different from the Wildcats’ record, but they had two of Long Island’s top scorers, and in the end that made the difference. “We played West Babylon in our first playoff game in over 10 years,” said Coach Labate.  “We had lost to West Babylon early in the season. In that April 4th game, we were losing 10-1 twenty minutes into play. However, in our playoff game against West Babylon, 20 minutes into the game we were in a 2-1 battle.”  The Wildcats ended up losing 12-5. “We held one of Long Island's top goal makers [Samantha Geiersbach] to a score of 2-1 for 21 minutes of a 25-minute half,” said Assistant Coach Joe Pipolo. “That is a remarkable testament to what the girls have done all year. Our girls were down a player for the more than 14:30 of the second half and did not quit,” continued Coach Pipolo. “That is who they are.”

“We lost [at West Babylon], but seeing how much we grew as the season went on leads me to believe that our playoff trip was just the end of a chapter,” said Coach Labate. “It is a chapter of a book that the Whitman 2013 girls’ lacrosse team started to write.”

Coach Labate and Coach Pipolo would especially like to congratulate their seniors for their leadership, character, and dedication:

Angela Acevedo, Savannah Aronson, Marissa Booher, Essence Casey, Julia Cranz, Casey File, Chyna Jones, Giuliana Rizzotti, Emma Triolo, and Victoria Weisser.

Chapter 2 begins this summer.