The tears were kept to a minimum while the enjoyment was maximized by the Greenport/Southold high school field hockey team on Wednesday night.
From the pregame Senior Night ceremony at Greenport High School’s Dorrie Jackson Memorial Field to the 3-0 win over Babylon to the food and fun afterward, the evening was judged an all-around success for the Clippers.
Greenport’s three seniors had been through senior games before — five each, to be exact. This time was different, though. This time midfielder Toni Esposito, center forward Madison Tabor and goalie Katie Tuthill listened as their teammates paid tribute to them in a pregame ceremony.
Then the three Clippers — all six-year varsity players — went out and helped their side to victory.
Ale Cardi, a junior forward, scored the last two goals to salt away the victory. Tabor picked up two assists, including the game-opening goal by sophomore forward Jules Atkins in a crowded goalmouth 10 minutes, 34 seconds into the game.
Tabor didn’t score, but she exhibited her air-dribbling skill a couple of times and took five shots, three of which were saved by Sophia Levine-Aquino (seven saves).
Although Tabor didn’t score the game’s second goal, she played a role in it, blasting a shot that Levine-Aquino made a pad stop on. Moments later, though, Cardi registered her first goal with 10:44 left in the first half.
In the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 20, Greenport (5-8, 5-8 Suffolk County Division III) walked away with a 6-0 win.
Before Wednesday’s game there had been talk of Tuthill playing a field position in the second half and Cardi going in goal for the first time in her career should Greenport take a large lead. As it was, the lead wasn’t large enough, so Tuthill stayed put. She wasn’t too busy, though, called upon to make only one first-half save on Allie Kresck for her fourth shutout of the season.
After the game, Greenport’s Madison Hilton dumped what little remained in a water bucket over Esposito’s head. Esposito playfully chased after her. The Clippers were clearly having fun.
The three seniors indicated they didn’t sense any finality to the evening, and for good reason. Greenport still has one game left to play, Thursday at home to Shoreham-Wading River.
Babylon dropped to 2-13, 2-12.
Photo caption: From left, Madison Tabor, Katie Tuthill and Toni Esposito share a laugh during the Senior Night ceremony. (Credit: Bob Liepa)