The wide pink headband that Alyssa Murray wears is like a beacon for her teammates. Wherever she is on the lacrosse field, they can always find her. More importantly, she can always find them.
The West Babylon senior All-American was at it again Wednesday, contributing seven assists - plus three goals - in the Eagles' 18-5 Division I girls victory over host Commack. That gives Murray 37 assists in six games for 2010 and 269 for her career, six short of the state career assist record of 275, set in 2006 by Carolyn Davis of Skaneateles, now a senior at Duke.
"When I'm feeding, I'll just give them a look and they know where to go," said Murray, who has helped the Eagles to a 6-0 record, 4-0 in league. "It's a matter of trust. They know I'll get it to them if they're open."
Murray, in her sixth varsity season, had many open targets against Commack (3-3, 2-3). She assisted on two of Chelsea Retaleato's six goals and four of Samantha Rush's five. Rush leads the Eagles with 30 goals. "I've been playing with Alyssa on varsity for four years. I know the right time to cut and what type of pass she'll give me," said Rush, who scored three of the first four goals Wednesday as West Babylon built a 10-0 lead in the first 15 minutes. "I just make eye contact and it's downhill for the other team from there on. We always know where the other one is."
So no matter what alignment West Babylon coach Paul DiGiulio might shout from the sideline - 3, 33, 33x, deuces and purple 25 were among the calls - the scoring forays inevitably start with the ball in Murray's stick. If her teammates are covered, Murray can take it to the net herself. She has 23 goals this season playing both midfield and attack, and a Suffolk County-best 60 points.
"She does a great job drawing defenders," DiGiulio said. "She sees the field so well after a double- or even a triple-team. If you give her time, it'll be a rough day for the defense."
Murray, who will play her college lacrosse at Syracuse, is likely to break the state assist record on Friday at Floyd. "I think about it between games but not once the game starts," she said. "Then, I just want us to score any way we can. It would be nice to get the record at home with my friends in the stands. But my Dad, Mom and uncle will be there [Friday] like always and that's what counts."
Murray then pointed to the emptying bleachers after yesterday's game, where a trio stood proudly. They get an assist, too.