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Field Hockey: SWR’s seniors have a ball in the rain

Time has a way of sneaking up on you. That thought occurred to Brooke Meltcher when she contemplated her first year on the Shoreham-Wading River field hockey team five years ago.

“It [went by] so fast,” the senior midfielder marveled. “I literally feel like yesterday I was doing Senior Day as an eighth-grader.”

So, there was Meltcher, along with four fellow SWR 12th-grade players, being honored in a pregame ceremony Tuesday at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field in Shoreham. This time it was their turn to be recognized for their service to the program.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

The Wildcats sure had fun Tuesday, playing in the rain and winning big, 7-0, over Babylon. SWR (7-2 overall and in Suffolk County Division II) dominated from start to finish for its seventh straight win. It was a sophomore, Kaitlynn Monaghan, who led the way with two goals and one assist. Meltcher added a goal and two assists. Sophia Minnion, Sophie Costello and Reese Marcario each contributed a goal and an assist. Madison Herr, an eighth-grader, scored a goal and Haylie Abrams chipped in an assist.

Goalkeeper Maggie Andersen had an easy shutout as the SWR defense did not allow Babylon (0-9, 0-9) a single shot.

“We’re clicking really well this year,” Meltcher said. “I feel like everything’s starting to come together. We’ve had a pretty hard schedule so far, and I think we’re adapting to it really well. And I think it’s only up from here.”

SWR, coming off an 8-0 rout of Greenport/Southold on Friday, earned 10 penalty corners to Babylon’s one. The score was 5-0 by halftime.

“I’ve done my fair share of Senior Days and I never thought that I would actually be the senior,” Costello said, “but our underclassmen made it super special for us so it was really nice, regardless of the weather.”

Costello was joined by fellow senior players Catherine Donnelly, Hailey Lewkovich, Emmalee Ruta and Meltcher as well as senior team manager Reagan Peperno in the pregame ceremony.

“Oh my God, it was so special,” Meltcher said. “I never thought I’d be a senior, like I’m so sad, like it’s so weird like being the oldest and everything. Obviously, the weather like wasn’t ideal, but I think it makes it more fun like we just won a game in the rain.”

SWR’s Sophia Minnion dribbles forward while being shadowed by Babylon’s Ava Lopez. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SWR’s first-year coach, Christina Sacchitello, a former Riverhead defender (Class of 2013) who also played for Southern New Hampshire University, liked what she saw. Then again, what was there not to like?

“We had a little rough start [to the season], you know,” said Sacchitello, who is assisted by Kim Hannigan-Scarlatos. “We were trying to, I think, find our groove, but as of right now, you know, again, it can only go up from here. Passing, scoring opportunities, we’re really coming together, on and off the field.”

SWR has outscored its opponents, 36-8.

“It just all needed to happen,” Sacchitello said. “We all just needed to mesh and get this playing out on the field. Again, it took a while for it to come together, but you know, practice makes perfect and here we are now.”

After the game, in a sportsmanlike gesture, the Wildcats presented flowers to Babylon’s seven seniors.

So, what is Senior Day like when you’re one of the seniors?

“It kind of went exactly as I hoped for it to go, like I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Meltcher said. “It was amazing.”