Catania leads Hammonton past Ocean City
OCEAN CITY—Angelina Catania had a tough day the first time Hammonton High School’s field hockey team faced its perennial nemesis, Ocean City, this season.
The junior goalie allowed two early goals in that game, as Ocean City posted a 3-1 win.
Those first-quarter scores rattled Catania, but she had no jitters in last week’s rematch, dominating in front of the cage to help lead Hammonton to a 1-0 win.
The victory was the first loss in this season against a Cape Atlantic League foe for Ocean City and marked the first time that anyone involved with Hammonton’s field hockey program could recall beating the Raiders.
“That’s the best I’ve ever seen her play,” Hammonton coach Kristen Silvesti said of Catania’s performance.
“She was incredible,” Silvesti said.
Melissa Durham, who coaches Hammonton’s goalies, agreed.
“In the first game, those two goals really rattled her, but once she settled in she played great.
Last week, she was focused and just played an amazing game” Durham said.
Kiley Kozlowski’s goal off an assist from Brianna Gazzara gave Hammonton an early 1-0 lead in the first quarter, but from there it was almost all Catania, who frustrated Ocean City with some dazzling saves.
Ocean City fired four times as many shots as Hammonton in the game and had 12 penalty corners. The Raiders dominated the second half, but were unable to slip a shot past Catania.
With little more than a minute left in the game, Catania made a huge stop in front of the cage and Hammonton was able to neutralize an Ocean City corner with 38 seconds left.
The win kept Hammonton in contention for the CAL American Division title and could propel the Blue Devils into the CAL tournament later this month.
“We knew the game was huge because we needed it to have a chance at [winning] the division. After that first game [against Ocean City] our girls were fired up and they wanted it,” Silvesti said.
The game was Hammonton’s only one last week. Earlier this week, the Blue Devils played at Absegami, but that game ended too late for this edition. On October 12, Hammonton plays at Egg Harbor Twp. at 4 p.m.