The Huntington girls’ lacrosse team is on a mission. The Blue Devils will look to avenge a regular season loss to Riverhead when they travel to the North Fork school on Wednesday for the first round of the Suffolk Division I playoffs.
No. 10 Huntington (9-7) dropped an 18-11verdict at No. 7 Riverhead (10-6) on April 12. The Blue Devils are striving for a different outcome this week. The faceoff is set for 4 p.m. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals at No. 2 Smithtown East (14-2) on Monday, May 22 at 4 p.m.
“We came into this season really optimistic and ready to turn around the program and back to a strong, competitive team,” said junior Emma Greenhill, who has tallied 30 goals and 12 assists this spring. “Throughout the season we have set specific goals to meet, such as playing hard for a full 50 minutes and coming together as a team to play unified. We have met all of these goals, so I think we are in a really good position for playoffs. We truly haven’t shown our full potential against the teams we’re facing again in playoffs and going into the games with something to prove is definitely going to help us win. I think we can make it far this season and I’m really excited to see how it goes.”
Coached by Kim Gilroy, Linda Costello-Roth and Elizabeth Vogelsang, Huntington will be led into battle by freshman Abby Maichin, who has notched 55 goals and eight assists this spring.
The Blue Devils have outscored their 16 foes this spring by a 203-148 margin. Huntington goalies have combined to stop 120 shots with freshman Maya Santa-Maria recording 68 saves and junior Megan Bacik holding off 52 shots.
Senior Ryann Gaffney (32g, 19a) and Isabella Piccola (24g, 21a). Senior Emma Petrizzi (7g, 7a), juniors Amber Stieve (8g, 9a), Bella Annuniziata (9g, 3a), Megan McDevitt (9g, 1a) and Sydney Van den Valentyn (8g, 5a), sophomore Paige Lennon (9g, 4a) and freshman Marissa Stafford (8g, 1a) will all be looked upon to contribute to Huntington’s offense on Wednesday afternoon.
“I feel like the season has had its ups and downs, but we are definitely finishing strong,” senior Noelle Harvey said. “We have such great talent and such a great connection that we can ride with the big dogs. Our record shows so little of what we are capable of and that’s why I’m super excited for the playoffs. The playoffs will allow us to prove ourselves.”
Harvey and fellow senior Camille Stafford anchor the Blue Devil defense along with freshman Holly Wright, junior Catie Ricciardelli, senior Tara Wilson.
“Catie and Tara are such key players and on top of that Holly and Camille always have our backs,” Harvey said. “When Camille is in full swing nothing can stop her. And we can’t forget about out two goalies. Both Megan and Maya have unbelievable foot work and stick skills.”
Huntington’s game plan is simple. “Keep them off the eight-meter line, pick-up ground balls and draw controls and play a full 50 minutes,” Stafford said.
The Blue Devils definitely feel they have something to prove as they seek to push their season victory total into double digits.
“I think as a whole we have improved so much as the season has progressed,” Stieve said. “This team is a great unit and we work together so well. This playoff game is our chance to come back and show people who Huntington girls’ varsity lacrosse really is and what we’re all about.”