As they walked off the field at Walt Whitman completely exhausted, the Huntington High School varsity girls’ soccer team needed a few minutes to decompress before fully appreciating what they had just accomplished on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils battled the host Wildcats to a scoreless tie through 100 minutes of play.
It marked the second consecutive double overtime 100-minute scoreless tie game for Huntington, which had battled Smithtown East to the same result late last week. While the Blue Devils weren’t able to find the back of the net in either game, they held scoreless a higher seeded foe in both contests.
“Going into this game we knew it was going to be both a tough and exciting game being it was against crosstown rival,” said junior Jordan Forte, who played all 100 minutes on defense. “It is always a hard fought and competitive game on both sides of the field. This was our second double overtime game in a row and it really shows the heart everyone on the field has for the game.”
Huntington goalkeeper Ainsley Lumpe was once again splendid in the net for the Blue Devils, compiling a dozen saves and showing why she is widely regarded as one of Suffolk’s best.
Huntington had only a handful of legitimate scoring opportunities, including one late in the game, but the Blue Devils weren’t able to convert any of them.
“Once again, we showed that we can battle it out in double OT against a team that is ranked higher than us,” said sophomore Teddi Carnesi, who was magnificent at midfield and also played all 100 minutes. “We all were tired in overtime, but it didn’t stop us from working the hardest we all possibly could. Now we just need to focus on keeping our energy and awareness up. We are taking one game at a time, hoping to get the best results out of each.”
The Blue Devils are slowly gaining respect after being seeded No. 19 in Suffolk. They are 2-0-2, with a pair of ties against higher ranked teams. Huntington head coach John Walsh is pleased overall with how his squad is playing and the effort they are putting forth in practice and games.
“I think that everyone is ‘all-in’ and giving each other the best they have,” Walsh said. “Our defensive play has been especially exceptional. The scoring will come.”
After playing 200 minutes of scoreless soccer and four overtimes combined in the past two games against higher seeded opponents the Blue Devils were physically and emotionally drained as they headed to their bus for the short ride back to Huntington High School.
“We really preserved tonight and did not give up in an intense game,” sophomore Katie Browne said.