Every player counted on this past spring’s Huntington High School junior varsity girls’ lacrosse team. Literally. But the small roster size didn’t stop the Blue Devils from turning in a magnificent 12-2 record.
Huntington was coached by Vincent Tannazzo and Shea Scully. The team was gritty and determined and usually found a way to win, regardless of how tough an opponent was on any given day. The Blue Devils outscored their opponents over the course of the season, 158-54.
“We competed every game with hardly any substitutes, if any at all,” Tannazzo said. “Due to low numbers we had several girls playing different positions. These girls showed up every day and played their hearts out. We were a young team with a lot of talent. By the end of the season the team was playing their best lacrosse; firing on all cylinders. This team had incredible chemistry making each victory a team win. When this group of girls is together on the varsity level, look out!”
The top players on the squad included: (position, grade and stats)
Alexa Amorison (9th grade) Attack: 42 goals, 15 assists, 12 draw controls
Emily Plachta (8th grade) Midfield: 37 goals, 9 assists, 83 draw controls
Kailey Rappel (8th grade) Midfield: 17 goals, 2 assists, 15 draw controls
Tallulah Pitti (8th grade) Midfield: 6 goals, 6 assists, 17 draw controls
Regan Sansiviero (8th grade) Attack: 17 goals, 3 assists
Emily Geller (8th grade) Attack/Defense: 8 goals, 3 assists, 2 draw controls
Julia Gorecki (9th grade) Defense: 1 goal, 10 ground balls, 7 draw controls
Julia Steinberg (9th grade) Defense: 4 goals, 2 assists, 13 ground balls, 3 draw controls
Emily Cheshire (10th grade) Goalie: 60 saves Lisa Martin (9th grade) Goalie: 48 saves
Amorison proved to be a potent offensive force, leading the team in both goals and assists. “Alexa out worked and out hustled everyone on the field,” Tannazzo said. “Her tenacity and no-quit attitude helped propel our offense. She’s an unselfish all-around team player.”
Plachta shined during her first high school season. “She dominates on the draw control,” Tannazzo said. “Emily can take control of a game by jumpstarting the offense. She is a gamer.”
Rappel also turned in a very nice season as an eighth grader. “She’s a hardworking, non-stop aggressive player,” Tannazzo said. “Kailey is all over the field providing high scoring and a strong defense.”
Pitti proved to be both talented and durable. “She a strong defensive midfielder that knows how to run an offense,” Tannazzo said.
Sansiviero displayed superb stick skills and can often be found in the right place at the right time. “Regan always finds herself around the cage scoring goals,” Tannazzo said.
Geller also enjoyed a splendid season. “Emily is a true team player,” Tannazzo said. “No matter what position you ask to play, she does it and she does well.”
Gorecki was a strong lockdown defender for the Blue Devils. “Julia leads the team by example and is a calm presence on and off the field,” Tannazzo said.
Steinberg’s exceptional stick skills and ability to orchestrate the offense with her transition play helped Huntington win many games. “She brought veteran presence to a very young team,” Tannazzo said. “Julia can take over a game with her athletic ability.”
Cheshire and Martin gave Huntington a pair of wonderful goalies and they both sparkled in the cage. “Emily and Lisa are very strong goalies that can make the difficult saves,” Tannazzo said. “They both also do a great job clearing the ball.”
The highlight of the season came at night against Ward Melville. “The fans were loud and the play was physica,” Tannazzo said. “It was a seesaw battle with both teams exchanging leads. Ward Melville tied the game at 9-9 with two minutes left. Our defense had an impressive stop resulting in a clear that transitioned us up the field. We gained a free position from 20 yards out. On the restart Alexa Amorison received the ball and scored with 20 seconds left to win the game. It was a hard fought game and our girls never gave up. It was a true team win.”
Looking ahead to 2019, the Blue Devils expect to keep winning. “Many of our highly skilled players will move up to varsity next year,” Tannazzo said. “There are several girls from the middle school team that will fill out our roster. We will continue to develop the talent on this competitive level and work on the skills necessary for their varsity experience. We should be tough to beat again. I’m looking forward to next year.”