Friday, June 6, 2014

Uno en Uno with: Sydney Stern, Girls LaX

Akin to so many before her,  Yorktown' senior Sydney Stern's knack for creating offense initially drew her to lacrosse.

A playmaker by trade and a quarterback at heart,  the Oneonta-bound Stern prides herself on slinging the rock to cutters and feeding a variety of scorers.

Her offensive role underwent a dramatic shift as she made the quantum leap to varsity, where she popped and sniped and attacked with a newfound fervor and aggression.

Tall and athletic and perilous from the attack zone and behind the cage, Stern became a certifiable scoring threat in the Huskers' high-powered offense this season.

Ensconced in a lacrosse-centric world, where her teammates happen to be her dear friends in an unbreakable Yorktown sisterhood, Stern assumed a piece of the leadership mantle while subsequently playing every game with a "this is it" sense of urgency.

Those traces of senior swagger were evident on April 25.

Stern deposited two goals and doled out two assists as the Huskers halted Hackley's unblemished win streak, riding a second half spurt (three goals in three minutes) to a 14-9 victory. The post-game theatrics were vibrant, with THE CROP peppering Charlie Murphy field with strands of confetti.

During the Huskers' 14-5 Section 1 semifinal defeat of Rye, Stern pioneered the offensive attack with a hat trick. Stern's role providing communication and field vision paid dividends during the Huskers' 11-9 defeat of blood rival John Jay. With a goal and an assist, Stern helped the Huskers claw back from an early 4-0 deficit while avenging a 2013 Section 1 championship loss.

The Huskers' workagame blend of heart and hustle surfaced on the draw circle, where they were led by junior Southern California-commit Emily Concialdi.

Featuring a spate of scoring options and sustaining the circle of trust, the Huskers rattled off 13 straight wins following a 20-9 shellacking at the hands of Suffern on April 8.

Yorktown thrived with possession and a disciplined catch-and-stick game, outscoring playoff foes by a 44-12 margin before falling to Somers in the Section 1 title game.

 The Tuskers' Nicole DeMase displayed a flair for crunch time during that 15-12 OT thriller, piping the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner.

Bidding adieu to Ellen Mager's cadre of senior leaders won't be easy, but Stern and the Huskers will author a new chapter in their young lives. We caught up with Stern for this week's UNO EN UNO.

Stern On Choosing Oneonta 

I had been considering Oneonta. When I stepped foot on campus for the first time, I couldn't stop smiling. It felt like home for me, which was really important especially from  a tight-knit environment like Yorktown. As a player, I've always preferred feeding over scoring a goal myself. I'm really hoping to become a reliable playmaker, someone who can control the plays and help the team in a number of ways. 

On The Huskers' Tight Bond

Being close on and off the field really helped us maintain our morale . A key factor was the fact that we didn't just have one key player. We could rely on anyone on the field at any time, it could be a new high-scorer any given day. We were really a team in every sense of the word.

I think that when you know your teammates inside and out, on and off the field, it builds a really strong bond. When you care about them that much, it makes you want to win not only for yourself but for them as well.  

People build off your strengths and weaknesses when they're familiar with how you play. Jenna Gammer and I really were able to feed off of each other's energy, which enabled us to become a dynamic duo behind the net. We knew when we had our off games and we knew when we were on.

On Departing The Family-Like Program

There really isn't anything like Yorktown lacrosse. 

I think every coach, parent, and teammate wants to see success, no matter what level of lacrosse you encounter. I don't think that I will ever receive the amount of support I received throughout my career at Yorktown High again.

On Her Chemistry With Teammates

Emma Kaishian, Emalee Mongno and Emily Concialdi are three of the most amazing athletes I've ever seen. 

Being on a team with them is really inspirational. 

It makes you want to work that much harder, to be on their level and do the impossible as they do. Even when I'm trailing 3 minutes behind them they never give up on me and continue you to cheer me on. In fact, they call me "sloth" because I'm that much slower than them.