Despite broken fingers, Purcell scores

Howard notebook

October 16, 1998|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Polly Purcell was hurting.

"It was the worst pain I've ever had," said the Mount Hebron junior.

That can happen when you break two fingers.

Field hockey is not a sport in which injuries are common, although plenty of bumps and bruises go with the game.

A free hit, however, can be a dangerous situation. Opposing players are 5 yards away, trying to stop the ball with their sticks. Many times the free hit goes airborne, and the defensive players are just lucky to get their bodies out of the way.

Purcell wasn't so fortunate last Friday when the Vikings played host to Glenelg.

Early in the game, Purcell got in position to defend a free hit. The ball came up and right at her. Purcell tried to protect herself with her stick. The ball pinned the pinky and ring finger on her right hand against her stick before bouncing away.

"I thought I had lost my finger, because all I saw was blood," said Purcell, who was cut on her ring finger. "I was crying and screaming."

She left the game, and assistant coach Debbie Otto wrapped up the injured hand. A few minutes later, Purcell was ready to go back in.

Mount Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland wasn't so sure.

"I told her I couldn't make a decision on an injury like that," Ireland said. "Her father [Tom] was there, and he said it was OK for her to go back."

Purcell still was in pain but wanted very much to play.

"I figured it wasn't going to get any worse," she said.

Shortly after returning to the game, Purcell scored the game's first goal. Mount Hebron went on to a 2-0 victory.

"I definitely give her a lot of credit," Ireland said of Purcell. "She's a real competitor."

Purcell played all but the last four minutes of the second half. She went to Howard County General Hospital and got the bad news -- the first time she had broken a bone, and the first time she needed stitches.

"My doctor said it should be about four weeks before it's all healed," Purcell said.

She continues to play, although the padding over the fingers makes controlling her stick difficult. And she's still defending against free hits.

"You have to be quick," Purcell said, "because the ball can come right at you. You always have to be ready. The ball moves fast, and it can hurt."

Centennial (9-2 overall, 6-0 league) has not allowed a goal against county teams. The ninth-ranked Eagles play host to River Hill (6-4-1, 4-2) today, then entertain two-time county champion Mount Hebron (7-4, 5-1) Tuesday in a game that will have county title implications.

Girls soccer

Wilde Lake gave River Hill a battle Tuesday, losing on Krista Killian's goal with three minutes remaining.

"It was the best game of the season for us," said Wilde Lake coach Marcy Leonard. "It was a real team effort. Everyone played remarkably well."

River Hill coach Joan Kelso Smedley, a Wilde Lake graduate, also was impressed.

"Wilde Lake played really well," Smedley said. "They played hard. They played like they wanted it."

Wilde Lake goalie Edna Dash had 14 saves, and got help from sweeper Katie Kurcz and stopped Sheena Alavi. Sarah Schwartz played well in the midfield.

Wilde Lake played the game without midfielder Allison Levine, who bruised her foot in the Washington Area Girls Soccer tournament last weekend. The Wildecats also are without forward Carla Pistorio, who has an anterior-cruciate ligament tear and will have surgery next month.

River Hill sweeper Natalie Klisas has been out since Oct. 6, when she broke a toe against Oakland Mills. Smedley hopes to have Klisas back by the final regular-season game against Hammond on Oct. 27. Klisas is working out, and possibly could return earlier.

Here are the goals for, and goals against, for each team against county competition. Glenelg and Oakland Mills have played six games, the other teams five: Atholton 2-22; Centennial 19-7; Glenelg 12-6; Hammond 23-3; Howard 3-22; Long Reach 7-15; Mount Hebron 14-8; Oakland Mills 6-15; River Hill 19-3; Wilde Lake 5-9.

Tournament pairings

The draw for the fall postseason tournaments in volleyball, soccer and field hockey will be Oct. 25 at Long Reach.

Here are the times: Field hockey at noon, volleyball at 1: 30 p.m. and soccer at 3 p.m.

Pub Date: 10/16/98

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