This week is better than next week.

That was the unofficial conclusion reached by the Mattituck/Southold/Greenport girls’ hockey team after Tuesday night’s 18-10 home loss to the Center Moriches.

It definitely stings.

But if there’s a silver lining in the Suffolk Division II loss to Southold High, it’s because MSG are likely to get another chance against the Red Devils in next week’s Division D playoffs.

“They sort of got us into a bad game,” head coach Logan McGuinn said. “I don’t think we’ve really played to our full potential.”

McGinn didn’t get any objections from his players, who all agreed the team lacked some energy.

“We didn’t play our best, but we have a chance to play them again next week,” said senior Sofia Knudsen, who scored twice. “Hopefully it’s a better result for us and the gap isn’t as big as it is today.”

Teenage midfielder Breen Gardner, who also scored twice, agreed.

“It’s a very tough loss,” she said. “We did fight really hard there. But it wasn’t our day. We were average.

“I’m really excited to play against them next week.”

MSG (8-7, 6-7) got off to a strong start, but the chase began as the first half ended against the defending Class D champions.

With 3:42 remaining in the first half, the Red Devils (8-8, 7-7) took a 9-5 lead thanks to a goal from Megan Magill, Knudsen (1:36 remaining) and Dana (goal with 10 seconds left) put MSG within striking distance of 9-7.

Gardner ended the half on a high note with a brilliant run from the right wing that beat goalkeeper Riley Schild (seven saves).

“I’m just thinking we need to catch up,” she said. “I thought it was a big boost for the team, but in the end it kind of flattened out.”

After the seven-minute break, MSG were hopeful and Center Moriches fired.

The Red Devils made no mistakes, winning a couple of stand-offs to keep possession and scoring eight of their next nine goals.

“We were caught off guard,” Knudsen said. “We’ve had a lot of trouble, we just haven’t communicated as much as we usually have.”

McGinn added: “We were mediocre. It was hard to recover. When you play a good team, they make you pay for it.”

The Red Devils did it.

Midfielder Charlotte Castiglione (three goals, four assists) headed past MSG junior goalkeeper Aiko Fujita (five saves) at 1:18 of the second half, with Taylor Metzler (3) at 18:44. Peyton Noake has contributed two of a game-high five goals in the period. Magill (three goals) and Jessica Rosen scored one goal each. After center Maurice scored four goals in a row, Gardner broke the streak at 7:36 of the second half.

“They’re really competitive,” Gardner said.

Ella Suglia led MSG with two goals and two assists, while Gina Calise, Sage Foster (two assists) and Page Kellershon and Megan Tobin added one goal each.

McGinn is hoping his team can turn things around next week at the Country Championships.

“I tell the girls, next week you rarely bounce back and play against a team we just lost,” he said, noting that the Maurice Center has completed its regular season schedule and MSG has one more game — Friday, May 12 at Southold vs. Port Jefferson at 4 p.m.

“We have a game and then we’ll be right back [playing]”In life, a hungry dog ​​runs faster,” the coach said. “When the time comes, we become a hungry dog ​​because we know we’re going to lose that.” It stings, but it’s motivating. “

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