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Commack Cougars

By Steven Zaitz

Northport’s All-American field hockey goalkeeper Natalie McKenna needed a little change of scenery on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

So, with her Lady Tigers comfortably ahead of the Commack Cougars, she took off her mask and goalie pads and moved out of her cage to play a little forward.

“My teammates were trying to get me the ball,” McKenna said. “It would have been nice to have scored. Maybe next time.”

Her twin sister Olivia did score — three times as a matter of fact — in Northport’s 12th win of the season. They have now won 45 straight games dating back to the 2020 season after winning Oct. 11, 6-0. Commack drops to 3-9.

“I was trying to get Natalie the ball,” Olivia said. “I wanted her to score more than I wanted myself to score.”

Julia Cavallo, Sophia Cox and Emma McLam also scored for the Lady Tigers who peppered Cougar goalkeeper Sophia Newman with 31 shots on goal, six of which were taken by Natalie in the final eight minutes of the game. Sydney Wotzak had two assists as did McLam. Emma Fabrizio and Mackenzie Maniscalco had one assist each for Northport.

But the offensive ‘star’ was Natalie who was a menacing presence in front of Newman’s net as soon as she took her pads off.  Northport’s bench and the fans in the stands were ready to explode in the event that she scored. It was not meant to be on this day.

“Every goalie I’ve ever coached wants to play up and score,” said Northport assistant coach Libby Courtemanche. “She had a few good chances.”

Perhaps Natalie will get another chance as the Lady Tigers continue their quest for a second consecutive New York State title against Riverhead on Oct. 13 at home. The Lady Waves are 2-11. The Cougars will play Half Hollow Hills the same day at Commack.

Ward Melville kept pace with the visiting Commack Cougars, tied at 14 all going into the halftime break, but Commack dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Patriots to surge to a 12-point lead. The Patriots unable to answer the Commack offense onslaught fell to the Cougars, 48-35, in the League II matchup Jan. 24.

Fiona Kernaghan led the way for the Cougars with 17 points, and Jordan DiPrima banked 13, while Deanna Pagliaro netted eight. The Patriots Julia Greek scored two triples, four from the floor and a free throw leading her team with 15 points.

The win lifts the Cougars to 8-2 in league, 11-5 overall, and the loss drops the Patriots to 6-4, 9-5 overall. 

At 3-1, the Centereach/Longwood boys fencing team hosted the 3-2 Commack Cougars (yes, Cougars vs. Cougars) where Commack edged Centereach, 16-11, in League 1 action Jan 30.

Centereach Coach Amanda Catapano was impressed with second-year captain Justin Martinez, a senior and a 6-year varsity fencer, who this season as in past years, is the team leader who is a hard worker and very passionate about the sport. Catapano liked what she saw out on the strip from foilist Nick Galdemis where the coach characterized the senior as the hardest working athletes the program has ever seen.

The loss drops the Centereach/Longwood Cougars to 3-2 with four matches remaining before post season play begins.

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Northport led by two in the closing seconds of the game Feb. 25 when Commack intentionally fouled Sean Walsh with six seconds left. Senior Walsh went to the line and swished both to seal the deal for the 49-45 victory in the Class AA semifinal at Longwood High School.

Walsh topped the scoring chart for the Tigers with five triples, two from the floor and his final appearance at the charity stripe for 21 points. Teammate Pat Healy finished with 10 points, and senior Larry Citrola chipped in nine.

Commack senior Spencer Malloy led his team with 17 points, and senior Nick Greco netted 15 to conclude the Cougars’ season at 11-2, 16-5 overall.

The win lifts No. 2 Northport to 13-0 in league, 20-1 overall, and advance to the county finals where they’ll face top seeded Brentwood at Farmingdale State College Feb. 28. Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Game time is 8:30 p.m.



By John Dielman

The Commack Cougars were no match for the Patriots at Ward Melville High School’s homecoming Oct. 19. The home team did not disappoint, delivering a 35-14 win on the big day.

The win topped off the homecoming carnival, and during the game, both the junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders performed as well as the school’s band.

The Patriots now are at 4-2 in Division I, while Commack is 3-3. The Ward Melville football team will travel to Sachem East Oct. 25. Game time is 6 p.m.


By Bill Landon

The Ward Melville Patriots boys lacrosse team led Commack from the opening faceoff taking a 10-4 lead at the half. The Cougars drew within three late in the third quarter before Ward Melville slammed the door outdistancing their opponents to take a 14-8 victory at home May 3.

Seniors Trey Berry and Dylan Pallonetti topped the scoring chart for the Patriots with Berry’s three goals and two assists, and Pallonetti finished with an assist and four goals.

Blake Behlen sat atop the leaderboard for the Cougars providing three assists and two goals, and teammate Joey Kim split the pipes three times.

On May 7, the Patriots beat William Floyd, 14-6. The win puts Ward Melville at 11-2, one game behind Smithtown West.

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By Bill Landon

The Commack Cougars girls lacrosse team stayed with Middle Country trading goals for an 8-8 tie at the half, but the Mad Dogs stretched their legs in the final period to surge ahead for a 17-12 road win April 4. After the game, the Mad Dogs remained unbeaten at 4-0 in Division I trailing Northport and Riverhead, but then beat Riverhead, 11-10, April 6 to head the table.

Middle Country senior midfielder Sophie Alois led the way for the Mad Dogs notching five goals and four assists. Eighth-grader Kate Timarky split the pipes three times with a pair of assists, while senior goalie Elizabeth Pomaro had five saves on the day.

Commack senior Katie Kelly found the back of the net four times for the Cougars with three assists and teammate Sam Pugh had an assist and stretched the net three times. Senior keeper Cat Deutsch had eight saves in net. The loss dropped Commack to 2-3 in the division, 4-3 overall.

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By Bill Landon

Ward Melville girls basketball hosted the Commack Cougars where the Patriots led from opening tipoff and never looked back, winning, 59-40, in a League I matchup on senior night, Feb. 5.

The Patriots led by five points after 16 minutes of play before they turned up the heat and outscored the Cougars, 22-10, in the third quarter.

Ward Melville senior Lauren Hansen sat atop the Patriot scoring charts swishing three from the foul line, nine field goals and a triple along with seven rebounds for 24 points. Junior Jamie Agostino followed with four triples and two field goals good for 16. Junior Morgan Wenzler banked five field goals and a free throw for 11 points, and led her team in rebounds gathering 13.

With the win, Ward Melville improves to 13-2 for second place in league behind undefeated Longwood with one game left Feb. 7 at Sachem East before postseason play begins.