With The Best Scorer In Program History Off The Team, The Team Looks To Shift Its Focus To Defense
By Mike Papandrea
After being upset in the CUNYAC Finals by Brooklyn College last season, CSI will look to take a more balanced approach with all-time leading scorer, Demi-Jean Martorano, having completed her final season.
Last season, CSI was one of the biggest offensive threats in and out of their conference. They scored 80 goals on the season and only gave up 16 goals on defense. While 16 may not sound like much, it is a lot to head coach, John Guagliardo, who enters his eleventh season with the Dolphins.
“Offense was never our problem,” said Guagliardo. “We were sixth in the nation in scoring last year. On defense we gave up 16 goals. We haven’t given up 16 goals in most of the years I’ve been here. The primary concern is defense.”
Kaitlin Russo, Adrianna Parello, and Stefani Rivera are newcomers that Guagliardo expects to play an important role on the defensive side. Danielle Smith makes her return after she was injured in the second game last season.
Smith is a junior who transferred from Clinton Community College who were two year national champions. Guagliardo predicts Smith will be a sleeper for teams to deal with, since other schools didn’t get to see her play much last season.
“She is probably the biggest key because she is a defensive machine,” said Coach Guagliardo.
Some key players making their return for the final season are goalie Victoria Donegan, defenseman, Nina Chaiken, defenseman, Alyssa Colasurdo, and forward Samantha Wysokowski.
Wysokowski, who scored 26 goals in her sophomore year to break the school record for most goals in a season, comes back for her senior year. Last season, Demi-Jean tied her record with 26 goals while Wysokowski scored 22.
The third best scorer on the team was Danielle Alexandrini with five goals. It will be interesting to see who steps up along side Wysokowski to be one of the top goal scorers on the team.
“Keep in mind we had Demi who got 25-30 goals a year,” said Guagliardo. “[This year] I might have 10 girls that get 5-6 each. It actually may be a better team. Not because Demi is leaving. Demi is a great player, obviously. Best one we’ve ever had. But the reality is, could we be a better team well-rounded? Yeah, because there’s more parts coming in.”
Donegan, who holds the second most saves in the program’s history, will come back for her final year after she was red-shirted last season. With her as the goalkeeper, and the stress Guagliardo is putting on the defensive play, the team is primed to blank opponents.
“Last year we were one dimensional. We could score on anybody,” said Guagliardo. “It was who outscored who. This year we are gonna be able to shut you down.”
The Dolphins start the season with their third annual Fall Classic against Illinois I.T on August 30 at home. They will go on to play seven more games at home until they see their first road game.
Six of the eight teams they face to start the season will be tough out of conference matches. Coach Guagliardo, who made the schedule, did not try to make it easy on himself or his team from the start.
“It’s the toughest schedule we’ve seen in my 11 years,” said Guagliardo. “The idea is to play a tough out of conference schedule so when we go into conference I don’t wanna just beat teams, I want to annihilate them.”