While the Huntington field hockey team struggled at times during a rebuilding year, five Blue Devil players captured post-season honors and many underclassmen emerged as future varsity stars this past fall.
Huntington compiled an overall mark of 5-10 under head coach Kathy Wright and assistant coach Allison Conlon. The 21-player team was captained by Ashley Wright, Elizabeth Berejka, Michaela Carnesi and Grace Curran.
The highlight of the season was a 4-3 shootout victory over visiting Newfield on Senior Day at Blue Devil Field. Huntington had dropped a 4-1 verdict to the Wolverines earlier in the season. “It was a great Senior Day,” Wright said. “We celebrated later by the field house with pizza and desserts. It was a truly memorable day for all the girls.”
Huntington had five
post-season award recipients.
In addition to the win over Newfield, Huntington also claimed victories over North Babylon (5-1 and 4-0) and Copiague (8-1 and 6-0). The Blue Devils dropped contests to Smithtown East (5-1 and 6-2), Riverhead (4-0 and 3-2), Eastport-South Manor (5-0 and 6-1), West Babylon (5-1 and 2-1) and Bay Shore (1-0).
Huntington went through plenty of growing pains, but Wright sees a silver lining in it all. “They continued to improve and grow more skilled with every game they played,” she said. “They were a team of determined and motivated girls. By the end of the season, they were in double overtime with two very strong teams that had defeated us earlier in the year.”
Senior Elizabeth Berejka (11 goals and three assists) and freshman Anna Wickey (8g, 2a) were named to the All-County honorable mention team. Michaela Carnesi (6g, 2a) was selected as All-Conference and freshman Holly Wright (4g, 2a) was named All-Division. Sophomore Morgan Minicozzi garnered the Unsung Hero Award.
A skilled forward, Berejka was “supportive and a role model who leads by example,” Wright said. A midfield/link, Wickey sparkled as a ninth grader. “She has dynamic stick-work,” the coach said.
Carnesi turned in a strong season at forward. “She’s determined, motivated and supportive,” Wright said. Holly Wright shined on defense and at midfield. “She perseveres and is strong and motivated,” the coach said.
Minicozzi is another “strong and motivated” player who displayed “great defensive timing” at sweeper, Wright said. Freshman Megan Byrnes also enjoyed an outstanding season, with three goals and four assists. “Megan is fast, strong, dedicated and determined,” the coach said.
In her final season in a Huntington uniform, senior Jessica-Rose Greene was splendid on defense and integral to the Blue Devils’ success. Ashley Wright, Minicozzi and junior Lindsay McKenna were also central to the defensive efforts.
Huntington’s two goalies combined to stop 120 shots, with senior Emma Alexander recording 61 saves, including a season best 11 against Eastport-South Manor on October 15. Sophomore Kaitlyn Sage made 59 saves with her best day coming when she blocked 16 shots against ESM on September 19.
Wright called her team “positive, happy, motivated and skilled” and said they displayed “sportsmanship and a never give up attitude.”
The Blue Devils will be looking to turn around their fortunes next fall and rise in the standings. The team will clearly be striving to make a playoff run.
“We have a core group of returning players coming back next year as well as a strong JV and middle school,” Wright said. “The seniors led our team with Huntington determination and pride. The 2016 Huntington field hockey team had strength, skill, drive, pride, sportsmanship and the desire to play as a strong team.”
Blue Devil Notes: Grace Curran turned in a fine senior season, contributing to Huntington’s rugged forward and midfield play . . . Morgan Minicozzi started every game at sweeper and blocked many shots in front of the goal cage . . . Jessica-Rose Greene was a “powerful defender with many block tackles and interceptions of the ball,” Wright said . . . Lindsay McKenna also notched a point for Huntington . . . The team’s seniors included Emma Alexander, Olivia Arciprete, Elizabeth Berejka, Michaela Carnesi, Alexa Cassar, Grace Curran, Jessica-Rose Greene, Alexandra Haughwout, Ryan Marie McKean, Mikaela McMahon and Ashley Wright.