Ally Turturro tightly gripped a bright orange ball, roughly the size of something seen on a children's playground, after her field hockey game on Thursday at the Dowling Athletic Complex.
But this was no ordinary ball.
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The senior forward put it in the back of the net with 8:34 left in double overtime to give Miller Place a 1-0 win over Rocky Point, securing the Panthers' third Suffolk Class B championship in the last four years.
"It's not about the goal I scored by myself, it's about the whole team winning this together," Turturro said while tossing the keepsake up and down in one hand. "They gave this to me and I'm going to let it represent our win at counties today."
Turturro shot the ball after it bounced over Rocky Point goalie Jen Greene and fell near the line. Greene made a game-saving stop less than a minute earlier on a penalty corner. Her Miller Place counterpart, Ally Tarantino, was equally sharp in both overtimes.
Rocky Point dominated possession in the first half but couldn't sustain an attack against Miller Place's overwhelming defense. The teams were evenly matched for much of the second, where they spent more time at midfield.
Eagles forward Nickie Sciulla nearly won it twice within the final five minutes of the first overtime, but Tarantino held strong.
"It was definitely earned," Miller Place coach Alana LaMorte said. "Rocky Point came out solid, they had a really good game plan and it took us too long to figure out our game plan. The last four minutes of the game we had more opportunities, more corners, and it leaked into the overtime."
Tarantino, a sophomore, said Rocky Point played a well-rounded game, but she touted Miller Place's performance.
"We looked up, we passed and moved the ball well down the field," said Tarantino, who added, "I'm just very excited because we worked hard this entire year. This was our goal and we want to keep going."