By Connor Beach
The Huntington Blue Devils varsity field hockey team fell, 2-1, against the Newfield Wolverines on Tuesday during the team’s Senior Day game.
Following the season’s final league game, on the Blue Devils’ home turf, coach Kathy Wright praised her seniors for their leadership and determination. Wright said a team with so many young players was lucky to have the presence of their senior leaders both on and off the field.
The game was a hard-fought affair for the entire 60 minutes with both teams playing a fast and physical style. The Blue Devils dominated the game for most of the first half.
Senior forwards Lindsay McKenna and Lianna DeChiaro, in addition to being honored before the game, played well together on the field. The senior duo connected for several passes down the sidelines and put the Newfield defenders under pressure regularly during the first half.
Huntington scored the first goal of the game 10 minutes into the first half when sophomore forward Megan Byrnes slammed home a rebound from close range after a chaotic scrum in front of the Wolverine goal. Byrnes’ goal brought her total on the year to seven.
The game changed in the first half when the Blue Devils’ leading scorer, Anna Wickey, was forced to leave the game due to an ankle injury. Newfield scored with 30 seconds left in the half to even the score at one.
Newfield stepped up the physical level of play in the second half and put away a second goal with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Devils did not give up, however, as the final 10 minutes featured an almost frantic attempt by Wright’s team to even the score. Sophomore Holly Wright kept the ball moving upfield, but Huntington was unable to turn the pressure into a tying goal.
Both freshman Julie Rogel and junior Kaitlyn Sage were stout between the pipes for Huntington, keeping the Blue Devils within striking distance.
Wright said she was proud of the way the Blue Devils played on Senior Day.
“We are a very young team, with a lot of sophomores and juniors, so for them to hold on in this game and learn to play together like they did this season, I really couldn’t be prouder of the team,” Wright said.
The loss drops Huntington to 5-8 in league play on the season. The team’s final game of the regular season is scheduled to be played at William Floyd High School today at 4:30 p.m.