After watching her 12th-seeded Greenport/Southold field hockey team tangle with No. 4 Harborfields on Friday, coach Rebecca Lillis was able to stand back and appreciate what she saw in her team’s 1-0 loss in the Suffolk County Division III game.
“It does say a lot when you really look at it,” she said. “I’m happy with today’s loss, if you can be happy with a loss.”
Lillis immediately understood how funny that may sound, but for the young Clippers, a one-goal loss to the strong Tornadoes was seen as encouraging, even though they didn’t manage a single shot and were outnumbered in penalty corners, 16-1.
“It’s an achievement, I feel like,” Greenport goalie Katie Tuthill said. “Today’s game definitely proved how much we improved.”
Lillis said she was impressed by her team, which has many players new to the varsity level. She said tough practices during the week helped the players exhibit skills they didn’t show in a 4-1 loss to Shoreham-Wading River on Sept. 13.
Harborfields’ quality won out, though. Sarah Gray, stationed in front of the goal, swiped in a loose ball for the only goal 6 1/2 minutes into the game at Greenport High School.
Harborfields nearly added a second, but Caroline Sheehan clanked a penalty stroke off the left goalpost with 7:51 to go in the game.
Lillis liked what she saw from young players like freshman midfielder/forward Emma Quarty, who played the entire game against Harborfields, and freshman defender Andrea Mena-Ochoa.
“I guess what’s exciting to see and what I’m learning is some of them are coming in very, very dedicated and motivated to do their best,” Lillis said. “Like a girl like Emma really shows me that there’s a future for the program.”
A busy goalie is happy, mostly
As a goalie, Katie Tuthill likes to be busy, with a qualification.
“If I’m busy playing well,” she said. “Games that I’m playing well, I really do enjoy being busy, but other than that, it can go either way.”
Tuthill was busy Friday and she played well in Greenport’s 1-0 home loss to Harborfields, turning aside seven shots.
“She did great, amazing,” Rebecca Lillis said. “She’s got talent and she’s got the skills to defend that way. She definitely had a great game.”
Tuthill and her teammates were under a good deal of pressure, defending against 16 penalty corners.
“It was a lot of fun,” the senior said. “I mean, I had a lot of action. I mean, even though it’s really pressure, a lot of pressure, a lot of pressure, I just feel like it’s more fun for me.”
Was Tuthill happy with how she played?
“I mean, obviously that goal went in, so I wasn’t too pumped about that, but other than that, I mean, a lot of my position is luck, where the ball goes,” she said. “There’s a lot of luck in there.”
Photo caption: Greenport/Southold goalie Katie Tuthill (99) is cheered on by her teammates before Friday’s game against Harborfields. (Credit: Bob Liepa)