The Westhampton Beach girls lacrosse team fell 19-6 last season to Sayville, a team that eventually lost in the Suffolk County Class B Championship game. Fast-forward to Monday’s Division II season-opener season for both squads, and the Lady Hurricanes still lost to the Lady Golden Flashes, but by a much closer 9-6 margin.
Noting that it has shown a marked improvement from last year, Westhampton Beach head coach Ann Naughton said she was proud of how her team played against one of the toughest squads in Suffolk County.
“They beat us up pretty good last year, so I was pretty pleased with the effort of the team today,” she said on Monday afternoon. “I thought we had some opportunities, but we turned the ball over a few times and we need to work on our ground ball possession.”
Down 5-2 at halftime, the Lady Canes responded with two quick goals in the first 35 seconds of the second half. Bella Recchion took the ball the length of the field and scored off the opening face-off and then Sarah Culver did the same a short time later to cut the lead to 5-4 in Sayville’s favor.
The Lady Golden Flashes responded though with two goals of their own around the 20-minute mark, and that seemed to take away a little bit of the energy from Westhampton Beach. Sammie Vickers scored for the Lady Canes with 12:56 remaining in the game, but Sayville answered once again.
The Lady Golden Flashes did a good job during the game’s final five minutes of killing the clock to secure the win.
“If we tied it up, I think Sayville would have panicked,” Naughton said. “But we were shooting it right at their goalie, we weren’t making her move. And we needed to move the ball better in transition and not turn the ball over.
“It’s the little things like that which hurt us, but the girls recognized it,” she continued. “Their lacrosse IQ is definitely improving, they just need to keep working on those basics. But I thought they did outstanding.”
The Lady Canes won their first game of the season, 14-4, at Connetquot last Thursday, March 21, in what was a non-league contest. Westhampton Beach was up 11-2 at halftime and the game was called with about 4:30 remaining because of inclement weather.
Naughton said she liked what she saw from her goalie, Christina Modica, and her starting defense of Emma Gristina, Kaitlyn Ogeka and Kathleen Mensch. Bella Recchion scored three goals and had two assists while Zoe Recchion also had a hat trick. Culver also scored three goals while Alexa Smith and Caitlin Smith scored two. Sammie Vickers contributed with a goal as well.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Friday, 4/5, at Shoreham/Wading River, 4:15 p.m.; Tuesday, 4/9, vs. Bayport/Blue Point, 4 p.m.