Murray's injury bad timing
West Babylon midfielder Alyssa Murray, the Long Island leader in assists with 47, has played her last game in an Eagles uniform, and the team is suffering the consequences of her injury.
The Syracuse-bound senior will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in her right knee, according to Murray and Eagles coach Paul Digiulio. Without her, West Babylon has lost four of its last five - its only four losses of the season - to fall to 8-4 overall and 6-4 in Suffolk Division I.
Murray was injured in West Babylon's 10-9 loss at home to Bay Shore on April 20. An All-American and first-team All-Long Island selection last season, Murray broke the state career assists record on April 16 and will finish her career with 279 assists. She will have surgery on May 11, and is expected to be ready to play for Syracuse sometime in the fall.
That doesn't help the Eagles, though. In its first seven games with Murray at full strength, West Babylon, the preseason No. 1 seed in Division I, went 7-0, outscoring its opponents, 120-27. Since then, the Eagles been outscored, 61-52, with losses to Bay Shore, West Islip, North Babylon and Northport - all playoff-caliber teams.
Said Digiulio: "Right now, we're out of sync. It's going to take a while for things to get rolling. We just have to regroup. This is probably the worst time in our schedule for this to happen. They were going to be tough games even with Alyssa in the lineup."
Top teams face off
No. 1 vs. No. 2. There are four such league matchups in boys action this week. In Suffolk Division II, Comsewogue (10-0 overall, 9-0 Division II), hosts Shoreham-Wading River (8-2, 8-1) at 7 o'clock on Tuesday night. In Division I, first-place West Islip (11-1, 9-1), winner of 11 straight since an opening-day loss, hosts second-place Ward Melville (9-1, 7-1) at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
In Nassau Conference B-I, Wantagh (11-1, 5-0) hosts second-place Division (10-0, 4-0) at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Then next Saturday night, there's a duel of unbeaten schools that will determine first place in Conference IV as Manhasset (10-0, 6-0) hosts Cold Spring Harbor (12-0, 6-0) at 6 p.m.