COMMACK, New York, April 23
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Chelsea Schultz scored a season-high 4 goals and the Commack Lady Cougars advanced to 6-1 in Division I on Friday with a 14-9 win over the visiting Raiders of Patchogue-Medford.
Heading into the season, however, Head Coach Melissa Read wasn’t even sure if Schultz, a senior, would return to play for the Cougars after taking a year off from lacrosse last spring to focus on basketball.
Now, with Schultz committed to playing basketball for Pace University next fall, the 6-foot-1 attacker decided to return to the lacrosse field for one last season, a little more than a month after she played a major part in helping Commack earn its first Long Island girls basketball championship.
With that in her back pocket, Schultz – who’s also a volleyball player – is hoping to fuel the Commack lacrosse squad to a playoff run of its own, and perhaps even to a championship.
“That would be awesome,” she said. “For me it was definitely fun to start the year with volleyball and then we had a great basketball season, so I think that’s helped me in carrying over the momentum to lacrosse.”
So far, it has.
As of press time Tuesday, in Commack’s seven Division I games this season, the Lady Cougars have won six. Schultz has established herself as an offensive workhorse in those wins as she’s accrued 12 goals and 5 assists.
“She makes it look easy,” Read said. “In terms of her presence on the field, needless to say, she sticks out… We’re thankful that she came back to play this year and she’s really bought in to what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The Lady Cougars want a playoff spot, she said, but they’re not just relying on one “superstar” to get them there.
Along with Schultz, Commack’s offense has been fueled by a productive trio of juniors in Julia Manetta, Diana Johnston and Amy Hauser. Together, the three have combined for 120 points on offense – 77 goals and 43 assists.
“That’s the great part about this team, there isn’t just one superstar,” Read said.
Elsewhere, eighth-grader Cat Deutsch has emerged in her first year on the team – and first year in the Commack School District – as the Lady Cougars’ starting goaltender. She’s kept opposing teams under 10 goals in all but two games this season.
Brianna Cook, Erica Pacello and Danielle Sclafani are just a few of the names that lock down Commack’s midfield and defense.
Together, the Lady Cougars were next to face Bay Shore (2-4) Tuesday afternoon. Read was confident in her team as it headed into the tougher, second half of the season where Commack will face some of Suffolk’s best in Ward Melville (5-2), Smithtown East (5-3) and West Islip (7-1).
On Monday, the next step would be against Longwood (3-3) in the Shana Kay Memorial game, scheduled to be played at Commack High School at 4 p.m.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record
(Thursday, April 23, 2015; A22)