An unusually small roster size didn’t prevent the Huntington High School junior varsity field hockey team from compiling a 7-2-5 mark and battling every opponent until the final whistle.
Coached by former Blue Devil standout athlete Lori Messina, the team was captained by Phoebe Walther, Julia Aureliano and Arielle Harvey. The 12-player squad was a feisty bunch, outscoring its opposition by a 19-10 margin.
Freshmen Lauren LoScalzo and Maya Santa-Maria along with Walther, a skilled sophomore, were the Blue Devils’ top players.
“Lauren was very talented,” Messina said. “She had the best dodges on the team. Her drives were controlled and very strong.”
Santa-Maria also shined for Huntington. “Maya had the strongest drives,” Messina said. “They were extremely powerful. She’s the most improved.”
Walther’s on-field play and leadership were a key ingredient in the successful season. “Phoebe is the definition of a captain,” Messina said. “She brought the entire team together and taught the freshmen how to improve their skills.
The well-balanced roster also included Brooke Biernacki, Kimberly Drake, Isabella Fox, Brooke Goldsmith, Madelyn Kye, Hayley Mortell and Carley Stevens.
The Blue Devils notched victories over Smithtown East (1-0), North Babylon (7-0), Copiague (1-0), Newfield (1-0 and 1-0) and West Babylon (3-2 and 1-0). The team tied Eastport-South Manor (0-0), Bay Shore (2-2), Smithtown East (0-0), North Babylon (1-1) and Copiague (1-1). Huntington dropped games to Riverhead (3-0) and Eastport-South Manor (1-0).
“The team was very determined,” Messina said. “They never once gave up or spoke negatively, even when we were down players for a game.”
Messina expects all 12 players to return to the program next fall. “They will play even better than they did this year due to the fact this season was a learning year for many.”