Morgan Minicozzi and Anna Wickey both captured All-County honors to lead a parade of Huntington High School field hockey players who garnered post-season awards following a season that saw the Blue Devils reach the Suffolk playoffs.
Huntington compiled a 9-6 overall record under head coach Kathy Wright and assistant coach Allison Conlon. The 17-player squad was captained by Minicozzi, Phoebe Walther and Brooke Goldsmith.
“They started the season as a group of returning field hockey players that had experience playing at the fast pace of the varsity level,” said Wright when asked to review the fall campaign. “They were a team of motivated girls that continued to improve and grow more skilled with every game they played. They were determined athletes who set a goal for themselves and their team and that was to get to the playoffs. By the end of the season they accomplished that goal.”
Wickey, a two-time All-County midfielder, was Huntington’s leading scorer with 11 goals and six assists. The talented junior was No. 11 among Suffolk’s top scorers. “Anna was able to make impact plays time and time again to put our team into a scoring position,” Wright said.
Minicozzi, another skilled midfielder who was coming off an All-Division performance as a junior, turned in an even better season this past fall with five goals and three assists. “Morgan is a very powerful play on both defense and as a scorer on offense,” Wright said. “Her ability to control the ball and send it up to the offensive players gave our team the opportunity to score.”
Juniors Megan Byrnes (three goals and two assists) and Holly Wright (one goal and six assists) both claimed All-County honorable mention recognition. “Holly was a key defender and scorer on our team, playing both ends of the field as well as transitioning the ball,” Wright said. “Her points came in assists, where she was able to see the open girl and get her the ball. Megan was also a key player as a flyer on defensive corners as well as a strong scoring forward.”
Walther (two goals and one assist) shined at forward during her senior season and was named to the All-Division team. “She was the player who could effortlessly receive the ball from the defense or midfield and bring it up to the scoring circle,” Wright said.
Senior Julia Aureliano (seven goals was named All-Tournament and senior Isabella Fox grabbed Unsung Hero Award honors. “Julia was strong in the post position on the offensive cage,” Wright said.
Fox, who led Huntington’s defense, “was able to change the direction of the game by stopping attackers and recovering the ball,” Wright said.
Goldsmith and fellow senior Haley Mortell were also key defenders on a team that prided itself on shutting down opponents’ offenses. “Their speed and defensive plays slowed down many of the opposing attackers,” Wright said. “Our defense grew and became stronger with every game they played.”
Junior Brooke Biernacki was sensational as Huntington’s sweeper. “Our defense made many plays that prevented the opposing team from scoring,” Wright said.
The Blue Devils fielded two sophomore goalies in Julie Rogel and Lisa Martin. “Julie displayed an ability to dive and move towards the ball, preventing one after another from entering the cage,” Wright said. “Lisa was new to the position of goalie, but she grew stronger every game as she made saves against strong opposing teams.”
Sophomore Isabella DiBenedetto, juniors Maddie Kye, Lauren LoScalzo and Maya Santa-Maria and senior Arielle Harvey all contributed in a variety of ways whenever they were on the field.
Huntington is saying goodbye to seniors Julia Aureliano, Isabella Fox, Brooke Goldsmith, Arielle Harvey, Morgan Minicozzi, Haley Mortell and Phoebe Walther. “Our team was led by seven strong seniors,” Wright said. “With their guidance and experience the team was able to win some crucial games, which allowed us to move into a playoff spot,” Wright said.
With 10 varsity players returning to the fold next fall and with the JV team coming off a 12-2-2 season that showcased several outstanding young athletes, the Blue Devils are looking forward to advancing deeper in the 2019 playoffs.