The first time Charlotte Curtin had a field hockey stick in her hand she ended up at the hospital a short time later. But on Friday, the Huntington High School sophomore scored the game winning goal in overtime to lift the Blue Devil varsity over host Connetquot, 2-1.
Curtin played the sport for the first time in a physical education class at Washington Primary School. She took the stick and dribbled the ball across the field and while waiting to dribble it back, a classmate brought a stick up too high and nicked her on the forehead. She headed to the nurse and her mom headed to the school to take the youngster to the hospital for stitches. All these years later she is one of Huntington’s top players on a team that entered the season ranked No. 3 in Suffolk.
The Blue Devils needed Curtin, her sister, Laura and the rest of the squad to overcome feisty Connetquot, which staked out a 1-0 lead. Senior Laurel Bonn tied the score before halftime, but when neither team could put the ball in the cage in the second half, overtime ensued.
When a field hockey game goes into an extra frame, the number of players on the field is reduced to seven on seven to open up more offensive opportunities. That’s all Charlotte Curtin needed to score her unassisted game winner on a breakaway that saw her dodge a defender in pursuit. Carlee Schultz stopped a pair of shot in goal to record the victory. Connetquot goalie Ava Catania recorded six saves.
“It was a crazy game,” Bonn said. “We fought so hard for this win. I could tell from their warmups that it was going to be a hard game.”
Huntington head coach Kathy Wright said before the game that Connetquot always plays well against the Blue Devils. Wright and assistant coach Allison Conlon were happy to escape with the 2-1 win made possible by Charlotte Curtin’s heroics and an aggressive defense.
“It was an intense game the whole way through and everyone was on the edge of their seats,” Laura Curtin said.
The Blue Devils host West Islip on Wednesday at 4 p.m.