Played in a steady and sometimes heavy rain on a very gray afternoon, the Huntington High School varsity boys’ lacrosse team turned in one of its brightest performances of the spring, toppling visiting Longwood on Senior Day at Blue Devil Stadium, 19-3.
Huntington jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, extending the advantage to 11-2 by halftime. By the end of the game, 13 Blue Devils either scored a goal or assisted on one. It was an amazing show that the small, but enthusiastic crowd appreciated.
The victory improved Huntington’s record to 9-3 in league play and 9-4 overall. The Blue Devils entered the current weak in fourth place among 21 teams in Suffolk Division I. Huntington trails only Northport, Smithtown East and Ward Melville in the standings.
Against Longwood, Liam Lennon (25 goals; 10 assists) and Robbie Smith (25g; 14a) both tallied three goals and an assist. Chris Maichin (22g; 12a) also scored three goals and Anthony Annunziata (16g; 5a) scored twice.
The Blue Devils outscored the Lions in the second half, 8-1. It was an impressive display considering Longwood has seven wins in divisional play and is on the cusp of qualifying for the post-season county tournament.
Robert Eriksen (1g; 1a), Ethan Evans 10g; 10a), Michael Kline (7g; 6a) and Jack O’Brien (4g; 3a) all had one goal and an assist. Peter Breingan 2g; 3a), Tyler Johnson (1g; 1a), Lucas Petrizzi (1g; 1a) and Chris Tittmann (2g) also scored in the game. Aidan McNulty (17g; 28a) had two assists.
Huntington plays at Middle County tomorrow (May 10) at 5:15 p.m. and then travels to Connetquot for the season finale on Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
Once the game was over, Huntington players, coaches and fans moved indoors to celebrate Senior Day with a luncheon, gifts and a small ceremony, which included a highlight film covering the current season.
Parents really outdid themselves creating a festive atmosphere in the gym area and arranging for a very special event for a special group of players.
Coaches Julian Watts, Andrew Gutierrez and Patrick Reilly were on hand to celebrate with the seniors and posed with them for photos.
The seniors recognized include Robert Eriksen, Ethan Evans, Jahiem Hawkins, Paul Knieriem, Harrison Krywak, Liam Lennon, Chris Maichin, Aidan McNulty, Matthew Mead, Jack O’Brien, Lucas Petrizzi, Ryan Porzio, Robert Smith, Brian Sosnowski and Chris Tittmann. Team managers/statisticians Grace Stolfa and Adrianna LoScalzo are also seniors.
“It’s been great playing for this team and community for all these years,” Smith said. “Playing under a great coaching staff and with my teammates since kindergarten has been a special experience for me.”
The seniors and their underclassmen teammates hope the season doesn’t end anytime soon. Everyone, coaches included, want the Blue Devils to push deep into post-season play.
“Being a Blue Devil lacrosse player has helped me become who I am today,” Lennon said. “Over the years, I was able to build strong friendships with almost everyone I played with. I learned a lot of things from these past few years that significantly helped me both on and off the field, whether it was from one of the coaches or just a fellow teammate. I wouldn’t trade my time as a Blue Devil lacrosse player for anything. I truly enjoyed those years.”
The rainy weather did nothing to erase the excitement of Senior Day for the players. “Being a Blue Devil lacrosse player all these years has meant the world to me,” O’Brien said. “It is like having a second family. Going to practice every day was the highlight of my school day. Being around my teammates encouraged me to be better on and off the field. Our coaches really understand us and help each and every one of us with anything we need. The friendships I’ve made over the last few years will last a lifetime.”
The seniors will soon be heading off in opposite directions to attend college. But until they graduate at the end of June, they all intend to savor these last days together.
“Looking back on my years playing for this program, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Maichin said. “Since I started playing in kindergarten, this program and the people who are a part of it have always made it feel like a family. This senior class is very special. We all started out playing HV LAX together and to see that 15 of us continued to play this game just shows how much lacrosse has meant to us and this community. This team wouldn’t be the family that we are without our coaches; Coach Watts, Coach Goots and Coach Reilly. You can see how much this team means to them and how much they want us to succeed. We feed off of their energy and as a result have developed such a strong culture within our team. This group has been through a lot together and we plan on going out on the highest note possible, with a county championship, leaving a lasting impact on this program as it has done for us.”
One thing is for sure, regardless of where the Huntington seniors go, they will always remember where they came from.
“I’ve loved being a Blue Devil lacrosse player basically my whole life,” Aidan McNulty said. “I have built so many valuable friendships and have loved playing lacrosse all these years.”