Featured Story

Field Hockey: Reilly has been stellar in goal for Porters

Dylan Reilly doesn’t mind seeing a lot of shots come her way. That’s a good thing because the Greenport/Southold goalie is being kept busy this season.

“The more shots, the more practice, the better I get,” she reasoned.

It’s a simple equation.

One can’t help but wonder how much better the junior netminder can become. In only her second year playing the complicated position, she continues to be a standout.

More shots mean more opportunities for Reilly to shine, which she continues to do. The quality of her play may not always be reflected in box scores, through no fault of her own. Greenport’s 4-0 Suffolk County Division II field hockey loss at Miller Place Wednesday is a case in point. For most of the game the score was 1-0 before Miller Place’s dominance finally wore down an overworked Greenport defense for three goals in the final 6 minutes, 31 seconds. If not for Reilly’s stellar goalkeeping, the final score could have easily been much more one-sided. The active Reilly, fearlessly diving to the ground, kicking and swatting balls away, made 16 saves.

“Phenomenal as always,” Greenport defender Melizza Mena Ochoa said. “She’s amazing.”

Reilly, who is also a Southold cheerleader, said: “I think I played to the best of my ability. This was obviously a very good team, but I went out there with all my 150-percent effort and I did the best I could.”

It was reminiscent of the way Reilly played in last year’s Suffolk Class C final when she made a career-high 31 saves in a 4-0 loss to Pierson/Bridgehampton.

Coach Alexis Reed said “not many people know this, but she puts in time in the offseason to make herself better, like all through summer to make sure that she’s working out so she’s fit. And it helps that she’s a cheerleader because it keeps her flexible. Like half the saves that you need to be able to do and be agile as a goalkeeper, you have to have the flexibility component and she has that. She’s doing everything that the big-time goalies are doing, you know, up west.”

Greenport/Southold captain Ava Cocheo advances the ball upfield while Sofia Gillan provides support. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Since opening the season with a 2-0 win over Babylon, Greenport has lost six straight and been outscored in those games, 30-2. Reed pointed out that unlike many of its opponents, Greenport doesn’t have a single club player on its roster.

“Our record doesn’t show the growth that occurs when we’re playing teams where all of their players play club,” she said, adding, “I’m very proud of what they’ve done because at this point, I mean those 6-nothing games don’t really reflect what goes on.”

Greenport’s defense of India Irving, Sarahi Tzun Rodriguez, Mena Ochoa and Kathleen Ward, who alternated between midfield and defense, was under continual pressure by Miller Place (7-3, 5-3). The Porters rarely forayed into Miller Place’s half of the field, were outshot, 32-0, and didn’t manage a penalty corner while the Panthers earned 22 of them.

Averie Anthony swept in a rebound for Miller Place’s opening goal in the first quarter.

Sadie Hoffmann scored two straight goals in the fourth, giving her six for the season. Shortly after Reilly blocked a Hoffmann shot, Hoffmann found the low, left corner. Just 2:54 later, Hoffmann finished off a pass up the middle from Casey Gilbert. Julia Murphy applied the exclamation point with 1:35 to go.

Reilly’s older sister, Maya Reilly, started in midfield along with Sofia Gillan and Mae Dominy. The Porters went with Alessandra De La Noval, Jada Clark and Ava Cocheo up top.

Dylan Reilly’s best stop may have been a stick save she made while she was on the ground.

“I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s like our goalie right there,’ ” Mena Ochoa said. “I think she ranks pretty high. She’s like one of the best goalies that I’ve ever seen.”

“I just need to keep my head in the game,” said Dylan Reilly, who made 23 saves in Greenport’s previous game, a 2-0 loss to East Islip. “I have to shake off each goal instead of dwelling on it. I think this game I did that better. And everyone just needs to keep their head up and go into it like it’s a zero-zero game.”

In the meantime, keep the shots coming.