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Alyssa Murray breaks state assists record

West Babylon High School senior #1 Alyssa Murray

West Babylon High School senior #1 Alyssa Murray looks to make a pass. (April 14, 2010) Photo Credit: Freelance/Photo by James A. Escher

For Alyssa Murray, it’s always been better to give than to receive.

With her seventh of a season-high nine assists Friday in an 18-4 Division I win at Floyd, the West Babylon senior (pictured in Wednesday's win over Commack) became the state leader in career assists with 278. She eclipsed Carolyn Davis, a 2005 graduate of Skaneateles, who had 275.

The goal, which was scored by Samantha Rush (game-high six goals), came 1:13 into the second half.

Murray, who also scored three goals, has a Long Island-high 46 assists through seven games this season for the 7-0 Eagles. The next closest player on the assists list is Wantagh's Jackie Sileo with 22. Murray also leads the Island with 72 points, 16 more than Northport's Shannon Gilroy.

Said Murray: “I always look to pass first. It’s a team game, it’s not about one person scoring goals.”

West Babylon now boasts the state leader in career goals — 2008 graduate Shannon Smith, now a sophomore at Northwestern, scored 505 with the Eagles — and assists. Smith also scored the most goals in a season with 129 in 2006.

Murray may duplicate that feat with assists, as her 46 through seven games (an average of more than 6.5 per game) are 55 shy of the single-season record set by Abbie Gowen, a 2008 Amherst grad now at Canisius, with nine regular-season games to play. At her current pace, Murray would finish the regular season with 104.

"It'd be an honor to break both records but it's not something I’m really worried about," Murray said. "It depends on how our team continues to play."

Murray was referencing upcoming meetings with the division's elite, including Bay Shore, West Islip and Northport. All three teams are undefeated in the league.

There was no fanfare for Murray Friday at Floyd. Though she and her teammates knew she had broken the record, coach Paul Digiulio didn't allow his team to run on the field to congratulate Murray. Why? Because he remembered that when Smith broke the scoring record, the referees penalized his team for mobbing her on the field.

Murray was on the field that day. She had the good fortune of collecting many of her assists on Smith's goals.

Said Murray of her former teammate: "Shannon was such a great player that she was able to put it in the back of the net 99 percent of the time."

Instead of their typical pregame inspirational poem reading, the Eagles on Friday listened to Al Pacino's inspirational speech from Any Given Sunday (warning: Pacino uses a couple dirty words in there). Listen to that and you'll realize how pumped up they were for this game.

But regardless of what they've been doing before games, Murray and the Eagles are rolling. They've outscored their first seven opponents 120-37 — with most of the 120 having come as gifts from Murray's stick.

Tis better to give than to receive.

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