Ally Hutzler, Megan Gonzalez lead Miller Place field hockey to win
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No. 7 and No. 11.
That's Ally Hutzler and Megan Gonzalez, two of Miller Place's top offensive weapons; a duo whom opponents know to keep close tabs on.
And the seniors still manage to weave through creases, slip from crowds, shake double teams and, in the end, put scoreboards to work.
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"It's all about being where you need to be," Gonzalez, No. 11, said. "We just try to find little ways to get open."
Funny, the 7-11 tandem seems to always be open.
Hutzler tied her career high with three goals and Gonzalez set hers with two in the Panthers' 5-0 win over Bayport-Blue Point Tuesday in Suffolk Division III field hockey.
"It's really cool and exciting for me," Gonzalez said. "I haven't been a big scorer before, but we've gotten used to seeing Ally rip shots 24/7."
The pun was unintentional, but somewhat accurate.
Gonzalez scored 1:22 in, taking a slip pass from Alyssa Parrella and smacking it into the right corner from 4 yards.
Hutzler put the Panthers up 2-0 with 17:35 left in the first half. She lashed a bullet from 7 yards right off a cross from Allie Krumholz on a penalty corner, and scored twice more early in the second half.
"I usually play the left side," Hutzler said of her maneuvering inside the arc, "but if I see that Megan or Maggie [Revera] has the ball, I'll move around and try to give them an open pass."
Panthers coach Alana LaMorte called this "the most complete game we've played" this season. Revera, the center-midfielder, slinked past defenders to initiate the offense, and Miller Place's hounding defense stifled the Phantoms. Carly Olsen needed only one save for the shutout.
"That's our style, something we always work on, and it becomes a habit," Kristin Roberto said of the high-pressure defense. "We can be aggressive because we know Alyssa and Danielle Powers have our backs."
Roberto, Revera and Lauren Anglim each had an assist for Miller Place (5-0). Meghan Smith made 13 saves for Bayport-Blue Point (1-4).
"It starts with the defense and middies," Hutzler said. "It's a lot of fun when everything is clicking like it did."
Miller Place graduated several stars from last year's Long Island Class B championship squad, but it remains a force.
And, oh, do the Panthers thank heaven for 7-11.