Huntington High School girls’ lacrosse players collected post-season awards this week at the county dinner at East Winds in Wading River.
The Blue Devils compiled a record of 9-8 under new head coach Kim Gilroy. The team reached the Suffolk Division I playoffs where it bowed to Riverhead in a thrilling game, 10-9.
Senior Ryann Gaffney (34 goals, 19 assists) and junior Emma Greenhill (34g, 12a) both captured All-County honors. Junior Isabella Piccola (24g, 21a) and freshman Abby Maichin (56g, 9a) were named to the All-Division team.
Huntington’s defensive stalwarts were also recognized. Senior Noelle Harvey was tapped as All-County honorable mention. Senior Camille Stafford was Huntington’s Unsung Hero Award recipient. Junior Catie Ricciardelli was named All-Tournament.
All-County players Emma Greenhill
and Ryann Gaffney.
Gaffney also earned a spot on the national Academic All-American team and won the prestigious Kathleen A. Roskot scholarship award. Ms. Roskot was an honorable mention All-American player. The 1998 Bay Shore graduate and two-time team captain was murdered in February 2000 during her sophomore year at Columbia University. She was 19 years old.
After she would take the field, Ms. Roskot was famous for telling her teammates, “It’s a great day to get better.” When Bay Shore’s coaches told players they needed to run a mile in 7 minutes 30 seconds at the start of the season, she ran it in 5 minutes and 58 seconds.
Gaffney has that same upbeat, can-do attitude. She’s fearless on the lacrosse field and a team leader who pushes herself and plays hard. When Huntington needed her to come up with a big play, she usually did. Combined with a stellar academic record, the Boston University-bound teenager is one of Suffolk’s best all-around players.
After going 3-12 in 2016, the Blue Devils notched victories this spring over Hauppauge (11-6), Lindenhurst (15-3), Walt Whitman (18-5), Bay Shore (15-11), Copiague (14-2), Patchogue-Medford (15-8), Brentwood (20-6), William Floyd (15-1) and Longwood (16-6).
“Our biggest team accomplishment was finding a hot temperature that could all feed off of,” Gilroy said. “Creating an environment where the athletes felt safe to take risks and grow. We wanted to create an environment that they wanted to show up to everyday and work hard. By achieving that goal, we were able to reach out goal of making the playoffs.”
All-Tournament Award recipient Catie Ricciardelli
with her parents, Susan and Frank.
Huntington clearly got its groove back this season. “Our team worked hard,” Gilory said. “The buy-in was early and it helped set the tone that a good team needs to stay alive.”
Although the Blue Devils will be losing many talented players to graduation, a skilled lineup will return to the field next spring. Gilroy and assistant coaches Linda Costello-Roth and Elizabeth Vogelsang hope to continue the team’s momentum and climb a few rungs higher on the ladder.
“As of right now, it looks like we will remain in Division I,” Gilroy said. “We were never able to walk away with a win against one of the top teams. However, we are knocking at the door and next year we will be ready. The girls gave it a great effort and with a few all-around tweaks, I am confident we will be there. I am hoping for a No. 10 or 11 seed and have hopes of becoming the true Cinderella story; ‘No. 10 makes it to the counties.’ We are all hungry for a big win and as a unit we are ready to work for it.”