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Westies fall to Mercy
WH loses 15-7 in regular season finale 
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 20, 2013) –
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team traveled to Middletown Monday afternoon and fell to the Tigers, 15-7, in the regular season finale. 
Looking to snap a 6-game winless skid in which the team went 0-5-1, West Haven could not match the powerful Tigers. 
Mercy's Kaitlyn Dempsey had the big day with 4 goals and 3 assists, while Danielle Richardson added 3 goals and 2 assists. Emma Bonassar and Casey Nelson eacxh scored twice in the win for Mercy. 





































Alyssa Maddern. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Carly Brereton led West Haven with 4 assists, while Candice Kross scored twice. Sam Young, Julia Consorte, Melanie Reiss, Allyson Hemstock and Ava Gambardella each had one goal in the loss for the Westies. 
Josy Militrano made 20 saves for West Haven. 

















West Haven goalkeeper Sam Palmieri returns from a knee injury to play on Senior Night, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Westies fall on Senior Night
Gambardella scores 6 goals in 13-11 loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 18, 2013) – 
The West Haven girls' lacrosse team was looking to close out the home portion of its schedule in style. While the Westies scored 11 goals, they fell to Amity 13-11 on Senior Night at Ken Strong Stadium. 
The Spartans took a 7-3 lead at the half, but West Haven (4-9-2) battled throughout, scoring 8 goals in the second half. In the end, West Haven came up just short in the loss. 
Ava Gambardella led the offense with 6 goals, while Danielle Bertolini, Allyson Hemstock, Candice Kross, Sam Young and Briana Algazali each scored once. Carly Brereton and Hemstock each had an assist in the loss. 





































Julia Consorte against Amity, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Senior Sam Palmieri, who has missed the season with a knee injury, played in her last varsity game at home, making 3 saves. Josy Militrano made 10 saves for the Westies. 




































Sam Palmieri against Amity, May 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Sarah Turner led Amity as she scored 9 goals and added an assist.

Westies tie Hamden
WH gets team effort in deadlock
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 16, 2013) –
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team put up one of its best efforts Thursday evening in a 13-13 tie at Hamden. The Westies received contributions from everyone on the field as 8 different players scored. 
"It was a great game," West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. "It was tough to leave without the win.The girls worked really hard and gave it their all. 
"Every starting attack and midfielder had a goal or an assist. Defensively, we played a good game. Jordan Brereton, Alyssa Maddern, Amber Nadeau and Jill Moran did great on staying stick to stick with players. Offense was very patient and did a great job at moving the ball around."
West Haven led 7-5 at halftime before Hamden held a 6-4 advantage in the second half to tie the game at 11. 
The Green Dragons scored first in overtime before Julia Consorte evened the game at 12. Hamden followed with another goal but Ava Gambardella set up Candice Kross to even the game at 13. 
"The girls have worked really hard to correct some of the repeated mistakes they made in the past few games," Fanelli said. "This season, we've had so many close games. Our record doesn't really reflect how much we have grown as a team and how much talent this team has."
Kross, Consorte and Carly Brereton each finished with 2 goals and an assist, while Sam Young and Leah Morrissey each scored twice.
Sam Young ties the game at 4 against Shelton, May 14, 2013. 

Westies fall to Shelton
Gaels rally in second half to defeat WH, 11-10
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 14, 2013) –
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team fell to 4-8-1 with a gut-wrenching 11-10 loss to Shelton Tuesday evening at Ken Strong Stadium. Unable to hold the lead in the first half, West Haven watched as Shelton held a 4-2 advantage in the second half to post the victory. 
The Westies opened the scoring in the game when Candice Kross scored from in front just 1 minute, 39 seconds into the game. After Shelton evened the game a short time later, Melanie Reiss came down the right side and scored for a 2-1 lead with 3:01 gone by in the contest. 
Shelton again evened the game at 2, but Ava Gambardella had an answer. Scoring the first of her 4 goals on the night, Gambardella put West Haven ahead 3-2 with 14:54 left in the first half. 
The Gaels scored the next 2 goals for a 4-3 lead, but West Haven answered with 2 goals in 15 seconds for a 5-4 advantage. Sam Young came from behind the net to even the game with 10:36 left in the half and Gambardella scored off the wing 15 seconds later for a 5-4 lead. 
Kross and Young finished with 2 goals apiece, while Julia Consorte also scored and Allyson Hemstock picked up an assist. Josy Militrano made 12 saves in the loss for West Haven. 
Ally Ferrante led Shelton with 4 goals. 

Tigers too much for Westies
WH falls to Mercy, 11-6
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 10, 2013) –
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team knew it was in for a challenge Friday evening when it played host to Mercy. When all was said and done at Ken Strong Stadium, the Tigers were too much as West Haven fell, 11-6. 
With the loss, West Haven dropped to 4-7-1. 
Mercy took control of the game in the first half, scoring 6 times and taking a 6-3 lead. It was more of the same in the second half as the Tigers used a 5-3 advantage to pull out the victory. 
Julia Consorte led the West Haven offense for the second staright game as she scored a pair of goals. Melanie Reiss, Candice Kross, Ava Gambardella and Carly Brereton each scored once, while Allyson Hemstock and Leah Morrissey each had 1 assist. 
Josy Militrano made 6 saves in the loss for West Haven as Mercy held a 17-16 shot advantage. 
Hannah Sullivan led Mercy with 3 goals.

Pacers do it Again
Westies fall to SHA for second time in 3 days
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 9, 2013) –
 For the second time in three days, the West Haven girls' lacrosse team was looking to pick up a victory against Sacred Heart Academy. 
For the second straight time, the Westies fell short. Outscoring West Haven 6-2 in the second half, Sacred Heart defeated West Haven 13-7 at Ken Strong Stadium Wednesday evening. 
With the loss, West Haven fell to 4-6-1. 

















The Westies, including Ava Gambardella (34), Candice Kross (24) and Mia Herrera (20), celebrate in an earlier season contest, but fell to Sacred Heart Academy, 13-7, May 8, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
The first half was an entertaining scoring affair as the Pacers rode the play of Michelle Merwin, Catherine Hagget, Lindsey Cafano and Rachel Cassassanta to a 7-5 lead. 
The Pacers then put the game away in the second half. While Sacred Heart Academy scored 6 times, the Pacers did well to hold the high-scoring Westies to just 2 goals in the second half. 
Julia Consorte led the West Haven offense with 2 goals. Candice Kross added 1 goal and 1 assist, while Melanie Reiss, Sam Young, Allyson Hemstock and Sydney Mursko each scored once. 
Merwin led the Pacers with 4 goals, while Hagget, Cafano and Cassassanta each scored twice. 
Sacred Heart held a 33-21 shot advantage with West Haven's Josy Militrano making 14 saves. Meg Castellano made 13 saves in the win for the Pacers.


Falling Short
Westies fall to SHA, 11-10
BY MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 6, 2013) –
 Despite 3 goals from Sam Young and 2 more from Candice Kross, the West Haven girls' lacrosse team fell to Sacred Heart Academy, 11-10, Monday afternoon in Hamden. 






































Despite 2 goals and an assist from Candice Kross, West Haven fell to Sacred Heart Academy, Monday, May 6, 2013. 
The loss dropped West Haven to one game under .500 at 4-5-1.
The game was a high-scoring affair in the first half, but quickly sttled down in the second half. The Westies led 8-7 after 25 minutes of play but could not hold on as Sacred Heart held a 4-2 advantage in goals in the second half. 
Leah Morrissey, Danielle Bertolini, Ava Gambardella, Allyson Hemstock and Melanie Reiss each added one goal apiece for the Westies. Kross and Alyssa Maddern each had an assist, while Reiss had 2 assists in the loss. 
Josy Militrano made 10 saves in the loss for West Haven.

Power Supply
Gambardella, Brereton lead Westies over Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 4, 2013) –
 Through nine games this season, one constant for the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team has been its offense. Saturday night was no different.
Jumping out to a 6-2 lead in the first half, West Haven needed to rally in the second half to hold off the Green Dragons in an 11-9 victory at Ken Strong Stadium. With the victory, West Haven improved to 4-4-1.
After Hamden cut the West Haven lead to 6-5 in the second half, Ava Gambardella and Allyson Hemstock answered for the Westies for an 8-6 lead. 

















Ava Gambardella (34), seen here against North Haven with Sam Young (16), scored 3 times against Hamden in an 11-9 victory, May 4, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Gambardella was big once again on offense for the Westies as she scored 3 times. Carly Brereton also added 3 goals, while Candice Kross and Hemstock each scored twice. Sam Young and Julia Consorte rounded out the scoring for the Westies.
Kross also added 2 assists and Hemstock and Gambardella had one helper each. Josy Militrano made 10 saves in the win for West Haven.

















Julia Consorte (14), Allyson Hemstock (6) and Carly Brereton (17) celebrate a West Haven goal in West Haven's 11-4 win over North Haven, May 2, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Westies pound Indians 
Young, Gambardella, Kross lead 11-4 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
Senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article
(May 2, 2013) –
 After losing three games in a row, the West Haven girls' lacrosse team needed a win in the worst way. Behind the play of Sam Young, Ava Gambardella and Candice Kross, the Westies defeated North Haven 11-4 Thursday evening at Ken Strong Stadium. 
Young scored 4 times, including 3 goals in the second half, Gambardella scored 3 goals in the first half and Kross scored twice in the second half as West Haven improved to 3-4-1. 
The Westies jumped out of the gates quickly as Julia Consorte fed Allyson Hemstock 1 minute, 22 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead. 
West Haven, which scored the first 4 goals of the game, increased the lead to 2-0 when Gambardella scored from in front with 13:40 left in the half. Young got into the scoring column 32 seconds later for a 3-0 lead and Gambardella bounced a shot into the goal for a 4-0 lead with 11:46 remaining in the opening half. 





































Sam Young scored 4 goals in West Haven's 11-4 win over North Haven, May 2, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
After Molly Benson got the Indians on the board, Gambardella answered 37 seconds later with 9:24 to go in the half for a 5-1 lead. 
Young took over the start of the second half as she scored twice in 52 seconds for a 7-1 lead. Hemstock set up Young's first tally with 1:08 gone by and Young scored into the corner from 5 yards out less than a minute later for a 7-1 lead. 
Shayla Kelly cut the deficit to 7-2 with 21:30 left, before Carly Brereton scored off an assist from Hemstock 1:18 later for an 8-2 lead. 
Leading 8-3, Kross scored twice in 4 minutes, the first on a wrap around and the second from 5 yards out, to give the Westies a 10-3 lead. Young capped West Haven's scoring with a wrap around goal with 5:33 left. 
Josy Militrano made 9 saves in the win for West Haven as the Westies held a 27-19 shot advantage. 



GIRLS LACROSSE 2013

Westies lose pair
WH drops to 2-4-1 with losses
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 24 and May 1, 2013) –
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team lost a pair of games this week and fell to 2-4-1 in the process. 
The Westies dropped to 2-3-1 with a 14-3 loss to Stamford last Wednesday in Stamford. With 6 starters away on a school trip, the Westies were no match for Stamford on the road. 
Ava Gambardella scored twice for the Westies and Candice Kross scored once in the loss. 
After a week off, the Westies returned to action Wednesday evening at Shelton and lost a high-scoring contest, 13-11. 
Sam Young, Kross and Danielle Bertolini led the way for West Haven as each scored twice. Gambardella, Carly Brereton, Leah Morrissey, Julia Consorte and Melanie Reiss each scored once in the loss.

Lauralton sweeps Westies
WH drops 16-12 decision to Crusaders
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 22, 2013) –
 Heading into Monday afternoon's contest with Lauralton Hall, scoring was not a problem for the West Haven girls' lacrosse team. Through 4 games, the Westies had averaged close to 15 goals per game. 
The Westies again were on the offensive in Milford, but could not hold off the Crusaders as Lauralton defeated the Westies for the second time this season by a score of 16-12. 





































Candice Kross scores one of her 3 goals against Lauralton Hall, April 22, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
The difference in the game was the first half as Lauralton outscored West Haven 8-4. The 4 goals would prove to be the margin of defeat for the Westies (2-2-1) as each team scored 8 times in the second half. 
Sam Young continued her torrid scoring with 4 goals, while Candice Kross added 3 and Allyson Hemstock scored twice in the loss. The scoring by Young gave her 14 goals and 1 assist in her last 3 games. 























Sam Young scores one of her four goals against Lauralton Hall as Carly Brereton (r.) looks on. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Ava Gambardella, Julia Consorte and Briana Algazali each scored once, with Consorte also picking up an assist. 
"Sam has had a great week," West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said of Young. "Julia Consorte had a great game. She has really stepped up this season and has become a big play maker for us. She has assisted on goals in every game so far. 
"Allyson Hemstock also had a really good game. She did a great job at getting the ball in the midfield for us and transitioning to offense."
Lauralton's Amanda Carey was the story of the game as she scored 7 goals. Carey was helped by Caitlin Nevins, Aubrey Lowe and Alice Horne as each scored twice. 
Josy Militrano made 10 saves in the loss for West Haven, while Lauralton's Caitlin Bennett finished with 13 saves. 

















Alyssa Maddern (26) defends against Lauralton Hall, April 22, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Fit to be Tied
Late goal forces West Haven to 14-14 tie withBerlin
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 20, 2013) –
 After not playing for a better part of the schedule, the West Havengirls’ lacrosse team finished its two games in three days in relatively fine fashion. After thoroughly defeating North Haven on Thursday morning, the Westries came back Saturday evening knowing they would need their offense to step up against a tough Berlin team.
Having already seen Berlin and the high power of its offense earlier in the season, West Haven jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead before the game ended in a 14-14 overtime tie. Berlin took advantage of a yellow card by West Haven, scoring 4 times to tie the game, including a 10-6 run in the second half. 

















Ava Gambardella (34), Candice Kross (24) and Mia Herrera (20) celebrate against North Haven and did more of the same against Berlin, April 20, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
“We were up for most of the game until the second half,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “They scored four goals while we were down a player because of a yellow card. We quickly came back, but from there on, it was back and forth. We would score then they would score.”
The contest then saw the lead change several times before Berlin took a 12-11 lead with 59 seconds remaining. Candice Kross, who scored 3 times in the game, evened the contest with 31 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
An extra session could not bring a winner as each team scored twice.
Sam Young led the Westies with 4 goals, Ava Gambardella and Carly Brereton each scored twice and Briana Algazali, Julia Consorte and Allyson Hemstock each scored once. Kross and Gambardella also had 2 assists apiece, while Consorte had one assist. 
























Ava Gambardella, seen here against North Haven, scored twice against Berlin, April 20, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Josy Militrano made 15 saves in the tie. 
“Josy Militrano had a great game with 15 saves,” Fanelli said. “She has really stepped up and has been doing better and better every game.”

Scoring Barrage
Westies put on offensive display in 23-13 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 18, 2013) –
 With only two games officially in the books in the season’s first two weeks, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team had to be eager to get back on the field. Judging by the results, the Westies were ready to go.
Scoring in almost every way possible, the Westies defeated North Haven 23-13 Thursday morning in North Haven. 























Allyson Hemstock scores one of her 4 goals against North Haven, April 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
“The girls did a great job winning the draws,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “Josy Militrano had a great game in goal.”
Sam Young led the way with 6 goals and one assist, Ava Gambardella scored 5 goals and had 3 assists and Allyson Hemstock had 4 goals. Candice Kross and Carly Brereton each added 3 goals and Danielle Bertolini scored twice. Julia Consorte also played well with 4 assists. 





















Sam Young scored 6 goals against North Haven, April 18, 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Josy Militrano made 13 saves in the win for West Haven.

In the Win Column
Westies defeat Berlin for first win of year
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 5, 2013) -
 The West Haven girls’ lacrosse team picked up its first win of the year Friday evening when the team traveled and beat Berlin 12-10. In an action-packed contest, the Westies held on for the two-goal victory. 
Candice Kross led the Westies on the offensive side with 3 goals and 2 assists. Ava Gambardella had 3 goals, Allyson Hemstock had 2 goals and an assist and Carly Brereton added a pair of goals. 
Julia Consorte was also involved in the offense with an assist.

Lauralton rallies past Westies
WH falls 12-10 in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
West Haven senior Matt Olenick contributed to this article 
(April 3, 2013) -
 The West Haven girls' lacrosse team was minutes away from opening the season with a comeback victory. Unfortunately for the Westies, the clock did not tick away fast enough. 
Scoring 3 goals in the final 4 minutes of the game, Lauralton rallied to defeat the Westies 12-10 in the season opener for both teams Wednesday evening at Ken Strong Stadium.  
"This was a really tough loss for us," West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. "We didn't start the game on the right foot. The first three minutes were shaky, but after that, we got it together and played really well for the remainder of the game. We came back from a three-goal deficit and were neck and neck for almost the entire game."
The Crusaders jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as Allison Casey scored twice in the first 1 minute, 52 seconds of the game. Lauralton led 3-0 just 2:31 into the game.
"I think the girls were a little nervous to start the season off without Sam Palmieri," Fanelli said of the team's injured goalie. "Sam is out for the season with an ACL injury. She's been such a huge part of our team the last three ytears.
"Josy Militrano joined the team this year to replace Sam in goal. Once she made her first couple of saves, she gained some confidence and made some really big saves for us in the second half."
The Westies then settled down, tightened up on defense, and scored the next four goals to take a 4-3 lead. 
Ava Gambardella, who shot wide minutes earlier from 10 yards out, finally got West Haven on the scoreboard when she scored from 7 yards out off an assist from Melanie Reiss 6:54 into the game. 
After Josy Militrano denied Alice Horne twice in 20 seconds, West Haven cut the deficit to 3-2 when Carly Brereton set up Sam Young from in close 14:28 into the game. Just 2:58 later, the game was tied when Candice Kross made a nice move in front and scored. 
"The girls played well as a team and we had some nicely assisted goals," Fanelli said. "Melanie Reiss had a great game. She stepped in to take the draw for Ava, won it, and came down and scored a goal which really started things off. Carly Brereton had some great interceptions. Alyssa Maddern, Amber Nadeau and Jordan Brereton all had good games on defense."
Kross was at it again 2:40 later. Her shot from 15 yards out got by Lauralton goalie Helene Sorenson for a 4-3 West Haven lead. Carey tied the game 1:04 later for the Crusaders, starting a string of three straight goals by Lauralton, with the final two coming from Horne. 
Trailing 6-4, Young scored on a wrap-around 34 seconds later, but Lauralton took a 7-5 lead to the half. 
The Westies came out with some pressure to start the second half as Gambardella was stopped by Sorenson 1:30 in from in front and 30 seconds later from 15 yards out. Trailing 8-5, Reiss started the West Haven comeback when she scored from in front just 5:06 into the second half. 
After Carly Brereton missed in front 6:30 in, Kross' third goal of the game brought the Westies within 8-7 just 7:15 in. The Crusaders got that goal back 5:18 later, but West Haven scored the next three goals for a 10-9 lead. 
Leah Morrissey set up Julia Consorte from 8 yards out 20 seconds later and Consorte set up Carly Brereton from 10 yards out to even the game at nine 14:25 into the second half. 
Kross missed on an attempt for her fourth goal of the game 15 seconds later, but Carly Brereton scored on a penalty shot with 4:30 left to give West Haven a 10-9 lead. 
Brereton's goal would be West Haven's last of the game as Horne evened the contest 30 seconds later, Carey gave Lauralton an 11-10 lead with 1:52 left and iced the contest 51 seconds later from in front. 
"Overall, I am hapy with the way the girls played," Fanelli said. "They had a lot of intensity. Tonight just reinforced the importance of coming out strong off the bat."
Militrano made 9 saves in the loss for West Haven.  Kross led the Westies with 3 goals. Sorenson made 21 saves in the win for the Crusaders.

Filling the Gap
Westies look for balanced scoring in 2013
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
As the 2013 spring season begins, one thing is certain for the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team. If the Westies are going to improve or equal their 8 wins from last season, they will have to replace the scoring of the graduated McKenzie Farquharson.
Farquharson had a season to remember in 2012, finishing with 61 goals and 18 assists. Those 79 points helped the Westies to the first round of the state tournament, where they eventually fell to Staples.
This season, the scoring will fall on the shoulders of seniors Sam Young (attack), Julia Consorte (attack wing), Carly Brereton (midfield) and Candice Kross (attack) and juniors Ava Gambardella (center) and Allyson Hemstock (attack wing).






































Senior captain Carly Brereton will play more of an offensive role in 2013 for the Westies. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
 “Carly (Brereton) has been one of our strongest players for the last three seasons,”West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “She has great speed and good defensive positioning. Carly does a great job intercepting passes and getting ground balls. She’s looking to score more goals this year.
“Sam (Young) has been one of our top attack since freshman year. She consistently scores goals for us. We’ll be relying on her a lot on offense this year. Sam is looking to play in college next year.”
Led by senior captains Carly Brereton and Jordan Brereton (defense) and supported by senior captain Samantha Palmieri, the Westies are looking for a berth in the postseason.







































Senior captain Jordan Brereton will lead the West Haven defense in 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
“Jordan has been one of our key defenders since her freshman year,” Fanelli said. “She is a natural athlete and has great defensive positioning and overall, a great sense of the game. She is probably one of the toughest girls we have on the field and always plays smart and aggressively.
“Sam (Palmieri) has been our varsity goalie since her freshman year. Unfortunately, Sam sustained an ACL injury during preseason training and will be out for the season. Sam and her teammates are heart broken that she will not be able to play this year, but we are grateful for the years of hard work and dedication that she has given the team.”
Gambardella returns with the most points from last season as she scored 29 goals and added 9 assists. Young was another sniper on the team as she scored 33 times last season and finished with 35 points, while Hemstock had 20 goals and 23 points,

























Candice Kross played a key role on offense in 2012 and will be expected to do so again in 2013. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
“Ava (Gambardella) was one of our top scorers last year and we’ll be looking for her for some big goals this year,” Fanelli said. “Allyson (Hemstock) is a strong player and scored a lot for us last year. We’ll be looking to her as one of our lead scorers this year.”
Kross returns from a season where she scored 18 goals, while Consorte and Carly Brereton will be relied on more on offense. Carly Brereton finished 2012 with 13 goals and 3 assists and Consorte had 12 goals and 6 assists.
“Candice (Kross) has been on varsity since her sophomore year,” Fanelli said. “She has improved every year and is looking to play in college next year. Julia (Consorte) has been looking great so far in our scrimmages. She has a great sense of the field and has come through with some big goals and assists for us.”
The Westies, who according to Fanelli need to improve on transitioning from offense to defense and clears, will also need to play defense. Leading the defensive charges will be senior Alyssa Maddern.
“Alyssa has been one of our strongest defenders for the past three years,” Fanelli said. “She is an aggressive player and does a great job getting the ball away from the other team and out of our defensive zone.”
Others who will be counted on more in 2013 will be Melanie Reiss (attack) and Amber Nadaue (defense).
“Melanie will see a lot more playing time on varsity this year,” Fanelli said. “She has tremendous speed and a good shot. Amber will also see a lot more playing time this year. We’ll be relying on her on defense.”
The Westies will also need to fill a void in goal. Palmieri played all of last season in goal, making 173 saves, but she suffered a knee injury in the offseason and will be forced to miss the year.
“The girls know they have to play as a team and keep up communication,” Fanelli said. “We’re really focusing on coming out strong off the draw, defending in our offensive zone and being aggressive when it comes to going after ground balls.
“So far, the girls have come out strong on the draws. They know they need to keep that up to be successful. We’ve also been successfully doubling much more than we have in the past.”
West Haven opens the season Wednesday, April 3 against Lauralton Hall at Ken Strong Stadium at 7 p.m.

All-State players - Kelly Stratton '00; Shannon Stratton '03; Joane Amato '03; Melanie Raubeson '03; Alix Sutcliffe '09