Angelina Perrone scored a huge goal and was carried off the field, hoisted by a teammate and coach in her moment of glory. The East Islip sophomore wore a wide smile, brimmed with pride, and felt like field hockey royalty.
Awesome! But that wasn't why she was carried off.
All in attendance at East Islip paused as Perrone went to the ground with 1:35 remaining. Nicole Levy scooped her up and lifted her to midfield where she was met by coach Chris Veit, who carried her to the bench.
See, what really happened was . . .
"I was doing a celebration dance and got a charley horse," she said with a chuckle.
It literally cramped her style. But Perrone's was a goal worth celebrating. She tied it as time dwindled, and Gabrielle DeVeglio notched the winner with 24 seconds left as East Islip rallied for three goals in three minutes to stun Newfield, 3-2, Tuesday in Suffolk Division II.
"Morale takes a hit when you're down late against a team that's beaten you before," DeVeglio said. "But once we got the first one in, we realized it could be done."
And so it was. The Redmen quickly erased a 2-0 deficit to earn an exhilarating victory.
On a penalty corner, Levy tapped in a pass from DeVeglio to get East Islip (5-3) on the board with 3:37 left. They soon drew another corner during which Levy drilled a low liner and Perrone, from a crowd in front of the cage, deflected the shot in. "Once we tied it," Levy said, "it was a relief and everyone got pumped."
The Redmen quickly regained possession, moved the ball in transition and then DeVeglio hammered in the winner.
"Every minute truly counts," Veit said. "We'd applied pressure in the second half, so we knew it would eventually go in."
Katie Neiva scored on a penalty stroke with 20:57 remaining and Serena Ruggiero added a goal with 12:03 left for Newfield (6-3).
But Valerie Pelling and Maddie Engrassia led a late defensive surge, and Jillian Spanier and Lindsay Carpluk each cleared penalty corners for East Islip. Then came the dramatics.
"I hit a [cool] shot, got carried off like a princess and we won!" Perrone said. "Life’s great!"
Now that’s a happy cramper.