Huntington's JV Girls' Soccer
Junior varsity athletics are not about winning championships. Their focus is on furthering developing individual and team skills and preparing athletes for the varsity level, which is the pinnacle of interscholastic sports.
The Huntington High School girls' junior varsity soccer team didn't finish in first place, but it succeeded in helping lay the groundwork for what the Blue Devils hope will be varsity championships in future years.
Huntington compiled an overall mark of 7-6-3 (4-5-3 in league play) under head coach Jade Edwards-Madden, a Blue Devil alum and U.S. Naval Academy graduate. The squad, which consisted of 16 players, was captained by Mackenzie Maloney and Hayley Drace.
"This team has been referred to in the past as the 'Brain Trust,'" Edwards-Madden said. "It is a team composed predominantly of scholar-athletes. The girls were all dedicated to the team, school and outside activities and handled themselves responsibly and with grace."
The Blue Devils were led by freshman forward Mackenzie Maloney, eighth grade forward Taylor Moreno, freshman goalkeeper Tyler Burton and freshmen defenders Lindsay Sullivan, Mary Sheehan and Caitlin Knowles.
"Mackenzie was a key component of our offense and controlled the field and made plays happen," Edwards-Madden said. Moreno was also an important cog in Huntington's JV soccer machine. "Taylor brought a level of intensity to the team that was unmatched and her fancy footwork resulted in key goals," the coach said.
It's easy to be fooled upon seeing six losses on the team's record and concluding Huntington was lacking in some way. "Despite our record, our defense was extremely strong and interchangeable, including Mary, Lindsay and Caitlin, who played full games all season."
The coach didn't hesitate when asked for the highlight of the season. "After a loss to Kings Park the first time around with only 30 seconds left on a corner shot, we regrouped and when we played them at home, we defeated them 3-1," Edwards-Madden said.
Moreno led the team in goals and Maloney was tops in assists. The pair is among a core of excellent young players. "I am excited for next season, having all the girls return as sophomores and welcoming a new squad of incoming ninth graders," Edwards-Madden said.