After scoring on a penalty kick in the opening game of the season, the Huntington High School varsity girls’ soccer team endured four straight shutouts. So when the offense finally clicked last Friday afternoon, the Blue Devils breathed a sigh of relief.
Tara Wilson blasted a penalty shot into the net at Walt Whitman on September 2, but that’s all the scoring Huntington had to celebrate until a 5-0 win at Copiague.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead before three second half goals put the game out of reach for the Eagles. Katie Seccafico scored two goals and Ryann Gaffney added a goal and an assist. Marissa Stafford and Nicole Muszynski also scored goals. Cathryn Ricciardelli had a pair of assists. Wilson also picked up an assist. Huntington goalie Anna Gulizio recorded seven saves to earn her first shutout of the season.
After four games filled with frustration, the Blue Devil offense was humming. Copiague goalie Maraya Jones stopped 20 Huntington shots to keep the score as close as possible.
Ryann Gaffney uses her head for Huntington.
(Mike Connell photo.)
“The Copiague win was exactly what we needed,” Gaffney said. “It set a positive tone that helped us gain confidence in ourselves. Looking forward, our team needs to concentrate on keeping this positivity and with that in mind I’m sure we’ll go far.”
Gulizio has been sensational this fall, despite Huntington’s record of 1-4-1. The senior’s 58 saves over six games are the third most in Suffolk behind only Jones’ 77 and Newfield’s Alexis Saladino’s 62.
Following a 1-1 tie at Walt Whitman in the non-league opener, the Blue Devils fell to West Islip (2-0), Newfield (1-0), Smithtown West (3-0) and North Babylon (3-0). Head coach John Walsh and assistant coach Vincent Tannazzo want to put all of those games behind the team and concentrate on each game at hand.
There is still plenty of time left for Huntington to compile the wins the team needs to qualify for post-season play. Walsh and Tannazzo aren’t about to give up on the season and neither are their players.
The Blue Devils will square-off league games against Smithtown East and Centereach this week. Contests with two-time defending county champion West Islip, Newfield, Smithtown West, North Babylon and Copiague remain as do return engagements with Smithtown East and Centereach.