When the Huntington and Walt Whitman field hockey teams meet, it’s always a hard fought battle. That’s exactly how last Friday’s contest played out in South Huntington as the Blue Devils eked out a 1-0 victory to move a little bit closer to the playoffs.
The teams were evenly matched well into the first half, but then Huntington junior Anna Wickey took command on a breakaway and launched a hard shot past Whitman goalie Sarah Nace, who was otherwise brilliant on the afternoon.
Wickey’s unassisted goal came with 21:50 remaining in the first half and it was all the Blue Devils would need as the team’s defense made the slim edge hold up the rest of the way. The victory improved Huntington’s record to 7-5.
“Even before the game started I knew we had to win to assure our spot in playoffs, so when I received the ball on the breakaway I knew I had to get it up and at least win a corner,” Wickey said. “It felt great to score early in the game. The team definitely had more confidence for the rest of the game.”
The victory over Walt Whitman was the second in two days for Huntington, which toppled visiting Copiague on Thursday, 8-0.
“Today was a really low scoring game compared to yesterday’s win against Copiague,” said junior Holly Wright after the exhilarating win over Walt Whitman. “But today we focused more on having each other’s backs. We had great touches on the ball and we worked really well together. Today most likely sealed us a spot into playoffs and we are beyond excited to keep our season going.”
Huntington was feeling great after the game. “I would say teamwork is definitely one of the most important things; knowing that your team has your back and working together really helped us win today’s game,” senior Julia Aureliano said. “Our determination to stay in playoff contention is keeping the team fighting hard. Our eyes are locked in on the prize.”
Senior Brooke Goldsmith did her part in helping the team topple Walt Whitman. “Hard work, marking up players, doubling up on a player and communication was definitely key to winning the game,” she said.
Coached by Kathy Wright and Allison Conlon, the Blue Devils have two games remaining in the regular season, both at home. Huntington will square off on Monday against Sachem North and on Wednesday against Connetquot. Both games are set to start at 4 p.m.
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The Blue Devils took a commanding 5-0 halftime lead against Copiague and coasted the rest of the way. Aureliano tallied three goals. Wickey had two goals and three assists. Morgan Minicozzi scored two goals. Byrnes had a goal and an assist. Phoebe Walther and Wright also added assists.