Few really saw it coming so when the COVID-19 pandemic led to spring high school athletic practices to put on hold it left the Huntington girls’ lacrosse team wondering what just happened and when they could return to the field.
With the pandemic far from over, Section XI has cancelled the remainder of the season and left Blue Devil head coach Beth Vogelsang to wax poetic about her eight seniors.
Beth Vogelsang is the head coach of Huntington's varsity girls' lacrosse team.
“This senior group is so special to me,” Vogelsang said. “I started at Huntington five years ago, so many of these girls are my last ‘first year’ players. I’ve had some of their sisters and collectively these eight girls have developed into my family. Their natural talent and leadership qualities as a whole are incomparable to any senior group out there. They developed together through the years the Huntington lax culture.”
The seniors had every intention of leading the Blue Devils into the Suffolk playoffs this spring while simultaneously being good role models for the underclassmen who will be charged with carrying on the program’s tradition next year.
Vogelsang recently took the time to speak from the heart about each of the seniors who have meant so much to the Blue Devils over the years. No one expected it to end this way, but at the same time, all of them understand the virus that has swept across the world has claimed the lives of a horrifyingly large number of people of all ages.
“Emily Cheshire is such a positive force on our team and has such strong school spirit that our team needs,” Vogelsang said. “Lena Annunziata brings reliability, consistency and honesty in a cool calm collected way. Caroline Hartough is kind hearted and poised and always and often steps in as ‘mom.’ Maya Santa-Maria gives the team honesty, edge and the laughs we need through difficult times. If you’ve ever met Holly Wright you know that she has the smile and voice that shines from a mile away. The team can always rely on Holly to turn a negative into a positive. Meg Agrillo shows the team hard work and resilience. She has the ability to shake it off or laugh at a situation and come back strong. Abby Maichin brings passion and focus to every practice, game and team talk. Her love for lacrosse brings us all together. Lastly, Marissa Stafford brings knowledge and energy every step of the way, always setting her teammates up for success. All the qualities come together and create a perfect recipe for a ‘family.’”
The players and coaches have been keeping in close contact, helping each other get through a difficult time for everyone.
“What happened to us this year with the season being canceled was devastating,” Vogelsang said. “The rug was ripped from right under them. We’ve all been waiting for this particular year for a long time, however this was completely out of our control and health and safety have to be our priority right now. Being athletes their whole lives, they’ve learned to adjust through times of adversity. There is no doubt in my mind that although feeling down, these seniors will move forward with their heads held high and use this as a fire in their hearts to come out even stronger in their endeavors ahead. I’m excited to see most of them play at the collegiate level and watch all of them succeed wherever the future leads them. They have the recipe instilled in them to succeed.”
Vogelsang and assistant coaches Vincent Tannazzo and Carli Clementi won’t soon forget any of the seniors. “As a coaching staff, we will always cherish the memories and special bond we have with this 2020 class,” Vogelsang said. “Our hearts are and always be with them.”