After three straight losses, the Huntington High School varsity girls’ soccer team badly needed a victory. The Blue Devils got it at Central Islip on Saturday, cruising past the Musketeers, 4-1 in league play.
Huntington was coming off three tough losses to Half Hollow Hills East (1-0), Sachem North (3-0) and Centereach (2-1), the latter being especially hard to accept after leading 1-0 at halftime.
But at Central Islip, Huntington looked invincible. Freshman Teddi Carnesi scored two first half goals to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Central Islip’s Nathalie Cordova-Sagastizado scored early in the second frame to make it 2-1, but Huntington seniors Paige Lennon and Alyssa Sorensen later found the back of the net to give the Blue Devils their most productive day offensively this season. Marissa Stafford tallied two assists and Carnesi also added an assist.
Huntington goalkeepers Charlotte Maggio and Makaylah Frazier were splendid, combining to stop eight shots. Senior Julia Tesoriero and sophomore Julia Steinberg led the Blue Devils defensively.
“I feel the key to winning was our ability to pass and connect with each other,” Carnesi said. “There was a considerable amount of synergy on the field today, which gave us the edge over our opponent.”
Huntington has struggled to score this season. The four goals on Saturday equaled the team’s combined production in its first five games. The Blue Devils have also had to work through some injuries. Talented freshman defensive specialist Emily Plachta has been sidelined for several games, complicating head coach John Walsh’s strategies to foil opposing team’s offensive attacks.
“I feel that it was just the game we needed,” Lennon said. “It was a perfect confidence booster and great practice for our big game on Monday against Newfield. During today’s game we had great chemistry, which is what we needed.”
Walsh and assistant coach Vincent Tannazzo hope the victory spurs a winning streak. “We came out very strong and kept that momentum going throughout the entire game,” said Sorensen about Saturday’s effort at Central Islip. “We connected many passes and finished off of set pieces.”
Huntington is striving to pull it all together and make a run for a playoff berth. The Blue Devils will have plenty of opportunities in the next two weeks to prove they belong in the post-season.
Stafford is playing well and that’s important because Huntington won’t get very far without the junior. "I think we really excelled in playing like a team today and we maintained possession for the majority of the game,” she said after the victory at Central Islip. “We found each other really well and were very strong offensively.”
Huntington plays Newfield and Smithtown East this week and Commack, Copiague and Northport next week. All of the games are important.
“Working hard in practice is definitely a key to winning games,” senior midfield Natalie Gonzalez said. “Our team works very hard and the bond we have as a team helps keep a positive attitude. There is a lot of talent on the team this year and working together will help our chances in winning our upcoming games.”