The Huntington girls’ lacrosse team played a great first half, grabbing a 5-4 lead at Riverhead in the Suffolk Division I playoffs on Wednesday afternoon. But the Blue Devils were unable to hold on, falling to the Blue Waves by the slimmest of margins, 10-9.
Playing in its first playoff game ever, Riverhead rallied in the final 25 minutes, outscoring Huntington, 6-4 and ending the Blue Devils’ season.
“This team was a great unit and we really worked hard this whole season,” Huntington junior Amber Stieve said. “To know that we aren’t going forward is heartbreaking. We all worked well together and gave it our all. We achieved several team and personal goals that we set throughout the season. Our seniors will be missed, but now we have to work for next year. We know the expectations for the next season and we’re going to execute it this time.”
After going 3-12 last spring, Huntington’s fortunes turned around under new head coach Kim Gilroy as the Blue Devils compiled a 9-8 mark and returned to post-season play.
Huntington had dropped an 18-11decision at Riverhead (11-6) on April 12, but Gilroy put together a game plan that had the Blue Devils on the verge of victory.
Emma Greenhill scored four goals to lead Huntington. Ryann Gaffney had two goals and Abby Maichin and Stieve both scored a goal and added an assist. Isabella Piccola also scored in the game and Emma Petrizzi assisted on a goal. Huntington’s two goalies recorded a combined 13 saves with Maya Santa-Maria stopping eight shots and Megan Bacik deftly handling five others.
“We played our hearts out for a full 50 [minutes] and at the end of it all there is no other team I would rather have by my side as I close out my high school sports career at Huntington,” senior Camille Stafford said. “This team and coaching staff will forever be family to me and I couldn’t be prouder to be a captain and member of this very special group.”
Blue Devil Notes: Maichin led Huntington this season with 56 goals and nine assists for 65 points … Gaffney was second in scoring with 34 goals and 19 assists . . . Greenhill tallied 34 goals and 12 assists . . . Stieve had nine goals and 10 assists . . . Petrizzi closed out her career with seven goals and eight assists during her senior season . . . Maichin, Greenhill and Stieve will all return next spring as will Isabella Piccola (25 goals, 21 assists) and both Santa-Maria (76 saves) and Bacik (57 saves) . . . Gilroy was assisted by Linda Costello-Roth and Elizabeth Vogelsang … Stafford and fellow seniors Noelle Harvey and Tara Wilson and underclassmen Holly Wright and Catie Ricciardelli led the Blue Devil defense.