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Kayla Downey, Emily Heller lead West Babylon over Hauppauge

West Babylon's Kayla Downey looks to get by

West Babylon's Kayla Downey looks to get by Hauppauge's Julianna Spadafora in the first half during a Suffolk girls lacrosse game on Tuesday. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Kayla Downey sang the national anthem, then Emily Heller sang her praises.

“She can score without an angle, and the defenders will be like, ‘How’d that go in?’ ” Heller said. “She also feeds. She sees the whole offense going on behind the net.”

Downey had five goals and four assists and Heller had five goals and one assist as the West Babylon girls lacrosse team defeated Hauppauge on Tuesday, 17-6, on senior night in Suffolk Division II.

West Babylon (12-2) honored Delilah Doyle, Caitlin McGuire, Downey and twins Emily and Hannah Heller, the team’s five seniors. Downey said the emotion of playing senior night helped West Babylon start fast.

A 10-2 first-half lead could be attributed to a 9-4 advantage on draws and the unselfish play of the team’s attack. West Babylon assisted nine of its first-half goals and assisted 12 of its 14 non-free position goals in the game.

Ahead 12-2 with 19:31 remaining, West Babylon yielded four straight goals to Hauppauge (9-4), including three in a row by Marissa Mansi. With Katherine Silk — who was just pulled up from junior varsity this week — manning the cage, Hauppauge appeared to have a shot to come back.

But West Babylon finished with a run of five straight goals to secure the win. West Babylon won 16 of 25 draws thanks to Emily Heller’s quickness in the circle.

Part of what makes the West Babylon offense click is the draw, as well as the relentless ride by the midfielders and attackers. But having siblings all around the field certainly helps with offensive chemistry.

Kayla Downey’s sisters — Ellie, a sophomore, and Lacey, an eighth grader — feature prominently. Hannah and Emily Heller are two of the top midfield recruits in the country. Put those five on the field together, and it’s like everyone’s on the same page.

“I know with my two sisters, I know what they’re going to do,” Kayla Downey said. “Like me and my one sister Lacey, we’re the same person. And Ellie definitely knows how to get open, so we know where she’s going to cut, and it helps.”

Lacey Downey had two goals and three assists, and Ellie Downey had one goal and one assist. Hannah Heller had one goal and three assists.

It isn’t always loving. Siblings do fight, but it’s always made better on the field.
“Me and Hannah yell at each other all the time,” Emily Heller said, cracking a smile. “If she makes a mistake, I’ll be like, ‘Are you serious?’ But we forget about it the next play.”

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