By Steven Zaitz
On the first day of spring in the year 2021, the Northport Lady Tigers lost a field hockey match.
It was a chilly day on the campus of Smithtown High School East as the Lady Bulls and the Lady Tigers would need an overtime session and a shootout to decide a victor.
Smithtown East’s Dani Brady, who is now a junior at the University of Maryland, netted the winner against Northport’s future hall of fame goalkeeper Natalie McKenna and this set off a wild celebration for the Lady Bulls with Brady at the bottom of a raucous pile.
Fast forward two and a half years later to the first day of autumn, 2023, and the Lady Tigers still have not lost a game since that long-ago day in St. James.
Last Friday, senior forward Kenzie Bliven rattled off three goals in a four-minute span of the first quarter to help defeat the combined forces of Bay Shore and Islip by a score of 4-0. It was the seventh win of the year for Northport, who have now won a mind-blowing 62 games in a row. The team is also seeking its third straight New York state championship and fourth straight Long Island championship, as there was no statewide tournament in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Northport besieged Bay Shore/Islip goalkeeper Sabrina Frazer with 23 shots on goal as Bliven, who leads the Lady Tigers with seven goals this year, worked relentlessly at the goalmouth to hammer away at her natural hat trick. Senior Makenzie Maniscalco added a goal in the second half for the Lady Tigers, and freshman sensation Julianna Tietjen had three assists while junior Lily Beamer had one.
Senior Grace Wickard and junior Mariselle Camillone split time in goal for the shutout. Northport has outscored its opponents by a combined 20-1 so far this season despite losing a star player such as McKenna, her sister Olivia McKenna, Emma McLam, Sydney Wotzak, Mackenzie Sweeney, Emma Fabrizio, Mallory Bennett and Julia Cavallo, who are all spread across the country enjoying life as college freshmen.
In an oddity of the scoreboard, the Lady Tigers have scored either four goals or two goals in all their games this season. But despite the relatively tame output on the scoreboard, Northport has relied on its trademark watertight defense to sustain the winning streak.
Northport put its streak on the line away to the Commack Lady Cougars Wednesday, Sept. 27, when the Lady Tigers went for a 63rd win in a row. The result was too late for press time.