The Huntington High School varsity girls’ soccer team is regrouping after graduating 14 players from last fall’s roster. Blue Devil coaches John Walsh and Vinny Tannazzo are optimistic about how it will all turn out. The pair is determined to usher the squad into the playoffs.
The Blue Devils will be returning Marissa Stafford, Isabella Floro, Jordan Forte, Natalie Gonzalez, Paige Lennon, Charlotte Maggio, Kiara Rafailan, Jaqueline Salgado, Alyssa Sorenson and Julia Tesoriero.
Huntington graduated Nicole Abbondandelo, Katie Seccafico, Christina Aureliano, Angela Ceron Villalta, Niamh Condon, Grace Connell, Hailey Gallagher, Emma Greenhill, Alexandra Lourenso, Nicole Muszynski, Catie Ricciardelli, Amber Stieve, Sarah White and Kelsey Zavala.
Last year’s team finished third in the league standing, compiling an overall record of 6-6-2. Huntington advanced to post-season play where it rallied from a 2-0 second half deficit to force three overtimes before falling to host Comsewogue on penalty kicks. The team outscored its opponents, 21-17.
Several players from last year’s junior varsity team will also vie for a promotion to the varsity ranks. The 2017 JV recorded a 5-7-2 record. It was led by Alexandra Gerbavsits (forward/midfield; five goals, six assists), Jennifer Zeron-Salmeron (forward; 4g, 3a), Megan Agrillo (midfield; 2g, 8a), Riva Bergman (defense/stopper; 2g, 2a) and Teddi Carnesi (forward; 5g). Gerbavsits, Agrillo and Lena Annunziata captained the squad, which was coached by Maria Canino.
“I am really excited and can’t wait for the season to start,” said Stafford, who plays midfield and is expected to be one of the Blue Devils’ main offensive threats as well as their corner kick specialist. “I think we have the potential to be really good and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”
Lennon, a talented defensive midfielder said she’s also “really excited” about Huntington’s prospects this fall. “I think the team will do very well and that we will be a very strong and competitive program,” the senior said. “I see big wins coming in the near future.”
The team’s longtime head coach, Walsh has been a Huntington physical education teacher since September 1994. A graduate of East Islip High School, he earned an undergraduate degree at SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree at Stony Brook University. He has coached boys’ volleyball on the middle school and high school levels and varsity girls’ soccer and softball. He is also a CPR and First Aid trainer.
This is Tannazzo’s eighth season as the Blue Devils’ assistant coach. He’s been a full-time member of Huntington UFSD’s faculty since September 2003, teaching math at J. Taylor Finley Middle School. He is also the head coach of the JV girls’ lacrosse team.
A graduate of Syosset High School, Tannazzo earned bachelor and master degrees at Long Island University-CW Post College. He studied business on the undergraduate level before earning a graduate degree in secondary math education when his attention turned toward classroom teaching.
The Blue Devils have a scrimmaged scheduled for August 29 at Kings Park at 2:30 p.m. Huntington opens the season at home on September 5 at 4 p.m. against North Babylon. Two days later (Sept. 7) the team travels to Brentwood for a 4 p.m. game. There are 14 league games on the schedule.