Taking lumps, lessons in school of hard knocks

The road to maturity for any new team, any new program, takes time. The potholes and bumps in the road are inevitable. It can be a painful and often frustrating experience.

But as the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold girls lacrosse team is finding out in its inaugural varsity season, progress has to be measured not so much in wins and losses, but incrementally … baby steps in the right direction.

For the second game in a row, the Tuckers (1-4 overall and in Suffolk County Division II) were on the wrong end of a 17-1 score, this time at Miller Place on Monday. Taylor Reh and Danielle Abad both tallied four goals and an assist to lead the Panthers (4-1, 4-1) to the lopsided victory. Emily Mott, Casey Brown and Janine Glass all had two goals. Miller Place built a 9-0 lead by the half and cruised to the win.

Caty Austin scored the Tuckers’ goal midway through the second half off an assist from Meagan Glenn.

Emily Metz, the Tuckers’ goalkeeper, was once again sensational, making 23 saves.

Last Thursday, the Harborfields Tornadoes jumped out to an 8-0 halftime lead and went on to pound the Tuckers 17-1 at Cutchogue West Elementary School. Bridgit Greene paced Harborfields (3-2, 3-2) with four goals and an assist. Kelsey Margey and Holly Leone each added a pair of goals for Harborfields. Glenn scored the Tuckers’ goal in the second half off an assist from Austin.

Metz made 17 saves to prevent the final score from being even more one-sided.

“The scores could have been … uh … so much worse if not for Emily,” Mattituck Coach Kaitlin Leggio said. “She has been saving us, a lot. Emily has been phenomenal.”

Leggio said that while the scores might not indicate it, her team’s overall defense has improved. She praised the play of Jess Stumpf, Maille McDermott, Katie Barry, Michelle Waters, Austin, Glenn and Sarah Hallock.

“Individually and team-wise our defense has gotten better,” Leggio said. “From game to game and practice to practice, we are getting better.”

She said her team is setting weekly goals and the players are setting their own goals.

Leggio said, “The refs are starting to come up to me after the games and telling me how we are so much improved.”