HUNTINGTON, New York, May 22
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
“Watch out for us next year.”
That’s what Head Coach Kathy Wright of the Huntington girls varsity lacrosse team said on Tuesday after her team’s season ended.
“This team is young: they’re all sophomores, juniors, eighth-graders and ninth-graders,” Wright said after falling to Sayville (13-4) in overtime, 14-13. “The defense has grown so much from where it was last year; [it] has become powerful, the way they communicate and slide. The attack [too], just being smart with the ball, pulling out, taking care of the ball – where last year it was just a lot of forced [play].”
With just two seniors on the team, Huntington earned the no. 2 seed in Suffolk’s Class B lacrosse playoffs by finishing the regular season at 12-2. After defeating No. 6 Miller Place (8-9) on Saturday, No. 3 Sayville moved into the semifinals to face the Blue Devils in Huntington.
“When we had the ball we were amazing, but it was just that we weren’t getting the draw,” Wright said of Tuesday’s game. “When you win the draw, you win possession; it comes to your side. It’s the same as boys’ lacrosse and their face-offs: you need it.”
Wright stressed the importance of winning “the draw” – which is the girls’ lacrosse equivalent of a face-off – after the Blue Devils went ahead 13-12 in the first overtime period on a goal by sophomore Irina DeSimone, her second of the day. Shortly after the goal, the Blue Devils lost the draw and Sayville went on the attack. With just six seconds left in the period, the Golden Flashes tied the game at 13.
As Wright said after the game, “when momentum changes, it’s hard to get back.”
After Sayville’s first overtime goal, Huntington could not regain the upper hand. Following a save by Blue Devil goalie Anna Tesoriero on a breakaway, Huntington was called for a penalty. The penalty set Sayville’s Olivia Russell with free position and just 2:42 left to play. Russell ripped a shot into the corner of the net and the game was effectively over.
“[Tesoriero] is just a strong, steady quick, goalie with just really good hand-eye coordination,” Wright said after the game. “She’s very fearless; she takes on those big shots right at her. She’s huge for us and she’s another one that’s still a junior.”
Tesoriero recorded 12 saves in the game, most of which helped to keep Huntington alive. On offense, the Blue Devils were powered by sophomore Katie Reilly, who had 5 goals and 2 assists, and junior Samantha Lynch, with 4 goals.
Despite these performances though, Huntington could not prevail, but Wright was still grateful for the effort.
“You couldn’t be prouder,” Wright said of her team. “You try to keep them up at the end because you know they played with everything they had. I just let them know that I knew they left it all on the field, and you can’t ask anything more from a player.”
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander (Thursday, May 22, 2014; A35)