The Huntington field hockey team won its ninth game of the season on Senior Day at Blue Devil Stadium, toppling Connetquot, 2-0. The squad is headed to the Section XI playoffs.
Seniors Julia Aureliano, Isabella Fox, Brooke Goldsmith, Arielle Harvey, Morgan Minicozzi, Haley Mortell and Phoebe Walther were honored during a touching pre-game ceremony on the turf field. Each of the teenagers was given a bouquet of flowers and walked to midfield under a canopy of field hockey sticks accompanied by their parents. Posters celebrating their careers were affixed to the façade of the bleachers.
Huntington (9-5) has won its last four consecutive games by shutout, notching wins over Copiague (8-0), Walt Whitman (1-0), Sachem North (1-0) and Connetquot. The Blue Devils are coached by Kathy Wright and Allison Conlon.
After a scoreless first half on Senior Day at Blue Devil Stadium, Huntington got second half goals from Aureliano and Walther to put it over the top. Holly Wright picked up an assist. Goalkeeper Julie Rogel recorded four saves. Connetquot goalie Emma McKean played a great game, stopping 13 Blue Devil shots.
Aureliano and Walther turned in spectacular performances as did their fellow senior teammates and the rest of the squad. “It has honestly meant the world to me to play for the Blue Devils; there’s nothing I would change about any of it,” Aureliano said. “It gave me the chance to meet my best friends and I will be forever grateful for that.”
Walther is in the midst of her finest season ever. “It has been an honor to play with such a great, strong team and amazing coaches who taught me a lot about team work,” she said. “I am grateful for the experience and all the memories made and I’m so excited for the playoffs.”
Minicozzi is another of the program’s mainstays and her contributions to the team have been vital to its success. She’s skilled in every aspect of the game and is a leader, too.
“To play for Huntington this year has meant the world to me,” Minicozzi said. “After playing for the past four years, I have made so many friends and memories that I will cherish forever. At first, I was uneasy about playing a sport in high school because I was afraid my grades would drop. But it was the best decision I made to join the field hockey team. This team has pushed me to become the player I am today and has inspired me to follow my dreams and fight for them. I am beyond excited to go into playoffs. My one goal every single year since my freshmen year was to go to playoffs. And for the first time in four years we have done it.”
One of the best players in Suffolk, Minicozzi is an aggressive on field presence. “I personally have put my heart into every game and I am so honored that I had the chance to play for the Blue Devils,” she said. “I am so sad that this is my last season, but I know that the field hockey team will continue to do big things in the future. I thank not only my coaches and teammates, but my family for supporting me through all these years.”
Mortell is among the seniors who have meant so much to the program. “After spending this long playing with such amazing girls, field hockey has become the epitome of family,” she said. “Knowing that wherever I go, on the field and off, someone always has my back is truly an incredible feeling. I am so proud to be a part of the field hockey team and to represent the Huntington Blue Devils in the playoffs for the first time in four years.”
The seven Huntington seniors and their underclassmen teammates have been working hard all season to qualify for the playoffs and the group is ecstatic to have reached the post-season.
“These past years of playing field hockey have been amazing,” Fox said. “We have all became so close and my teammates have truly became a second family to me. It makes the game so much more fun when you’re playing with your best friends! Also a big shout out to my coaches who have taught me so much. I’m going to miss playing so much.”
Harvey said she will always remember the friendships she's made on the team.
"We all have been playing on the same team for years, but each year we become closer," Harvey said. "On the field we have a special bond as well as off. Everyone supports each other, through the happy and hard times. Our team is one big family. We practice, dance around and at the end of the day always have a good laugh. Being on this team also helped me grow as a person by learning to interact in larger groups. I am proud to be a part of the team bringing us to playoffs. I am extremely thankful for the coaches we have as well as every team member being a part of my life and helping us reach this point."