Catie Ricciardelli stepped into a key defensive role and sparkled for the Huntington High School girls’ lacrosse team this spring.
Ricciardelli and her teammates won nine games and reached the Suffolk Division I playoffs before falling at Riverhead, 10-9. “This season was one of major growth for our program,” the teenager said. “As a team we learned to work together and play to each other’s strengths. We truly connected as a team both on and off the field and I am so proud of how well we did.”
The junior fit in perfectly with a starting defensive unit that included seniors Camille Stafford, Noelle Harvey and Tara Wilson and freshman Holly Wright. “Catie is a great girl,” Harvey said. “She’s so sweet and really knows how to be a great teammate and friend.”
Ricciardelli repeatedly proved her value to the team, interrupting opposing squad’s offensive attacks and getting the ball out of Huntington’s territory on the field.
New head coach Kim Gilroy and assistant coaches Linda Costello-Roth and Elizabeth Vogelsang came to depend on the sturdy teenager for her non-nonsense style of play and ability to deliver when it counted most.
“Our coaches instilled a culture of togetherness, unity and comradery, which will continue on,” Ricciardelli said. “The bar is now set high for next year. I can’t wait to meet it and continue to raise the bar for the following years.”
Ricciardelli captured the respect of her teammates. “She’s a great player,” Stafford said. “She has great speed and is really great at slowing the ball down on transition. She’s funny, kind and considerate, too.”
The teenager is looking forward to her senior year at Huntington High School. “Next year is going to be a big year,” Ricciardelli said. Among her courses will be Advanced Placement Italian, AP Physics, Pre-Calculus and a credit bearing internship in a Life Skills classroom. She also plans to be active with the Science Honor Society and the Italian Honor Society. She intends continue her involvement with the Young Leaders youth development organization.
“This summer is my last season of travel lacrosse,” Ricciardelli said. “I am extremely excited for it, but I’m sad it has to come to an end.”