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A rainy evening turns bright and sunny

Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 by Coach Cavanagh
 As the clouds rolled in over Connetquot High School the much anticipated game between the T-Birds and the Ward Melville Patriots seemed destined to be canceled. As the team waited to hear from the athletic office, a phone call never came as the thunder and lighting would show up, but  some time later in the form of a Thunderbird.

The last two seasons the girls have traveled to Ward Melville under very different circumstances. Two years ago the young upstart T-Birds faced the Patriots in the second round of the playoffs with nobody expecting much from our ladies . That game would go down as a classic 4-3 defeat that saw Ward Melville sophomore striker put in the game winner with slightly over a minute remaining in the game. Last year the girls once again hopped a bus and began our season under the lights on the brand new turf field at Melville. All I can say is thank god there were no refs and the game was a scrimmage, because the game on the scoreboard got ugly, the final score was 6-2. This year the girls seemed excited to let go of the past and begin a new future with some new faces. One problem summer league leading goal scorer Kelly "I can jump over a building" Guerin and Dawn "Get out of my way or I will knock you down" Hickey were both going to be sidelined with injuries. In the past the team relied so heavily on their starting rotation that these types of loses would have damaged any chance of a victory, but like I said this team is about writing their own history.

So as the rain began to fall heavily the girls took the field. The weather was fierce however it didn't stop the fans from flocking to the stands. The cheering and yelling seemed to start even before the whistle blew and never stopped. This was scheduled as a non league game but it seemed like it was a playoff game as both teams went after the ball hard. The first 30 minutes saw the game swing from side to side as the T-Birds were finding their way on the turf. After a lost ball out of bounds you could hear the frustration from All-County player Deanna Murino. The sidelines attempted to encourage her as she knew what she needed to do. She gained possession of the ball after a Melville turnover and took the ball up field. She blasted a ball from 40- 50 yards away and watched as the ball carried over the Patriots goalie for a 1-0 T-Bird lead.  This was a much needed goal for the girls wearing their road reds and it seemed to instill a confidence that they always knew they had. After a brief scare on a gorgeous corner kick, Ward Melville seemed to be frustrated by the T-Bird defense that played physical and hard and were able to move the ball out of the back and allow the midfielders to control the action.

The second half began with a bang as the T-Birds began soaring over the entire field. The control of all players was outstanding and certainly left their coach feeling that the tough two-a-days had paid off. They looked as though it was midseason and never seemed to lose their edge. With just under thirty minutes left Raychel Diver took the ball just outside the 18 and made a move that had the crowd "ohhh and ahhhhing". However the move left her on the ground as she was de-cleated. The Ref blew the whistle setting up a direct kick right outside the 18. Deanna took the kick and as she has done several times in her career, rocked a perfect shot to the lower left corner leaving the goalie helpless. The score was 2-0 T-Birds  But for some reason that didn't matter. The effort level never dropped and the girls played as if the score was nill-nill. 

The Patriots would score a goal with just over twenty left to bring the game closer, but the T-Birds never cracked and continued to pummel the Patriots with passes and well timed shots. The scoreboard read 2-1 T-Birds and finally the bus ride home from Ward Melville was a joyous one. 

We are so proud of our girls both past and present and we know that it is just one win in a long season, but it was some game!!!!

God Bless!!

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