It took a while for the Huntington girls’ lacrosse team to get rolling, but once the Blue Devils started scoring they were unstoppable as they went on to win the season opener at Hauppauge on Tuesday afternoon, 11-6.
After the Eagles opened an early 1-0 lead, Huntington scored four of the next five goals to grab a 4-2 halftime advantage. It was a tense first half as the Blue Devils’ rookie head coach Kim Gilroy reacted to every play, attempting to gain whatever advantage could be had.
“The upbeat, intense energy that the team brought to the field was the reason our play was so successful,” Ryann Gaffney said. We fed off each other’s positive tone, which led to an awesome start to the season.”
Gaffney and Abby Maichin led the Blue Devils with three goals each. Emma Petrizzi, Amber Stieve, Emma Greenhill, Bella Annunziata and Megan McDevitt also scored in the game. Megan Bacik (four saves) and Maya Santa-Maria (seven saves) combined in goal for the victory.
“It was a great first game and a really important win,” Camille Stafford said. “We have a relatively young team that hasn't been playing together for long, but today we really connected on the field and made the most of our opportunities. I’m super excited to see how the team does against Farmingdale this weekend and can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
The game started at 6 p.m. following completion of a junior varsity contest between the two schools. Huntington’s JV topped Hauppauge, 9-8. The victory was the first for new JV coaching duo Vincent Tannazzo and Emma Hayes-Hurley.
The Blue Devil varsity was somewhat tentative during the opening minutes before settling into a rhythm. “I think that we all played with heart today and it really showed, especially toward the end,” Stieve said. “We started off a little slow, but we definitely started to click at the end and clean it up. Overall it was a great first win for us and a new start from last season.”
Gilroy is assisted by Linda Costello-Roth and Beth Vogelsang. The team’s opening weeks of practice were interrupted by snow storms and frigid weather, but the Blue Devils made the best of it.
Huntington won 13 draw controls against Hauppauge and forced six turnovers. A contingent of parents cheered the Blue Devils on from the bleachers.
“Since it was our first game, we had to get out a few kinks early on, but we really came together and pulled it out,” Petrizzi said. “We had great communication and energy on the field and everyone played off of that. Everyone contributed from our goalies to our attackers. We’re all super excited to start the season with a win!”