Overtime goal lifts Eagles, gives Hammond first loss Refocused after benching, Kurpe hits game-winner

Field hockey

October 08, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Goalie Donna Boccuzzi. Sweeper Laura Gaudio. Midfielder Liz Kurpe.

Those were three reasons No. 9-ranked Centennial handed No. 13 Hammond its first loss of the season, 1-0, in overtime at Hammond yesterday.

The Eagles (7-2 overall, 4-0 league) have not allowed a goal against county teams and are tied for first place in the county with River Hill. Hammond (5-1-1, 3-1) and two-time county champion Mount Hebron are tied for third.

Boccuzzi, a junior, made nine saves, including two within the first 30 seconds of overtime. She also stopped a penalty stroke by Rachel Harris in the first half.

"She kept us in the game," Centennial coach Gail Purcell said of Boccuzzi, who has stopped three penalty strokes this season.

Gaudio, a sophomore, may have saved the game for Centennial when Boccuzzi was off to one side with a Hammond shot heading right to the cage. The ball hit Gaudio's foot, resulting in the penalty stroke but saving a sure goal.

"That was this close to going in," said Gaudio, holding her thumb and index finger an inch apart. "I tried to hit it with my stick, but I knew I had to stop it. You take what you can get."

And then there was Kurpe, who was taken out in the second half and told by Purcell: "You've got to get in the game."

Kurpe scored the winning goal 2: 12 into overtime.

"I was just flat, and we needed a spark and I wasn't doing it," said Kurpe, whose main job was to shadow Hammond's Jessica Garvey. "I came out, and she [Purcell] told me to collect myself and get focused."

Kurpe did.

"She was a different player when she went back in," Purcell said.

Hammond had the ball in Centennial's circle for most of the last two minutes of regulation and also the first 35 seconds of overtime. But Centennial, which got an outstanding game from Meghan McDonald, held off those challenges and started its attack.

Jessica Manzone passed to Melissa Dugan, who was open on the right wing. Dugan, a senior, passed across the middle and Kurpe finished it for her second goal of the season.

"It was a nice, flat pass and at the right speed, not to fast," said Kurpe. "I tracked it to my stick and did a quick slap shot between the goalie's legs."

Defeat was tough for Hammond, which lost to Centennial in overtime, 3-2, a year ago to the day.

"I thought we played every bit as well as they did," said Hammond coach Gay Petrlik, whose team defeated Mount Hebron, 1-0, in two overtimes last week. "We were very much in this game. I'm very proud of the way they played."

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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