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Postgame: Hauppauge vs. North Babylon

A little late on this but still wanted to post it.

Two of the county’s best players were on the field in Stephanie Peragallo and Emily Ude during Hauppauge’s 2-1 win over North Babylon on Saturday. Each scored, with Ude scoring the equalizer and Peragallo the winner.

Hauppauge improved to 8-0, but the game’s result was somewhat secondary to the annual Kicks for Cancer event. A huge turnout showed in honor of former Hauppauge student Courtney Tomkin, who passed away from brain cancer at the age of 17 in December 2008. Now in its fourth year, organizer’s expected the total amount raised for charity to exceed $100,000 with Saturday's contributions.

More postgame reaction from the win:.

JULIETTE LOCCISANO

On the win:
“We really came together as team, especially for Courtney, we do it every year. Its really important for us, its not about the game, its for her. All our fans came out to watch us and it’s the best feeling in the world to do it for Courtney.”

On her off-balance, right-footed goal:
“The other team had the ball, I went in for the tackle and shot it from about the 18….I’m equal with both feet, I practice a lot. I guess, I’m stronger with my left. I got caught off balance. I fell down because it was such a strong impact.”

On being 8-0:
“We just stay positive and we never get ahead of ourselves. We take it one game at a time. At practice we don’t fool around, we take it seriously. Every game we try our hardest and come to win.”

STEPHANIE PERAGALLO

On scoring the winning goal:
“It feels good to score the game winning goal regardless, but everything that’s going on today makes it so much better.”

On her goal:
“I got the ball, I felt the girl on my back and I just turned her and took a shot, I was hoping it would go in. I was aiming high because I knew the goalie had saved some shots of mine that were low so I wanted to mix it up a bit.”

On being 8-0:
“A lot of times we score early, today that wasn’t the case, but we usually score early and try to keep our lead. We know when to push it up and when to hold it. Most of all we know our opponents, Coach Kulesa does a very good job of letting us know how other teams play so we can try to adjust to what they are going to do.”

On being the focal point of the offense:
“Sure, there is some pressure. But I know if I’m not able to do it that somebody else will step up. It’s happened many times, like today.”

On plaing for a county title as a senior:

“I want it so bad. Especially not being able to play soccer in college (playing lacrosse at Notre Dame), it’s very important to me. I want another county championship.”

On Kicks for Cancer:
“It’s amazing. I’ve been able to do it since it started so it’s very important to be, especially being the last time being able to play in it. It’s an honor being able to participate, knowing Courtney, knowing her family. Everything about it is amazing.”

On Courtney Tomkin:

“It was very hard but what Courntey did was try to make it as positive as she could and she mad an impact on everybody’s lives, including mine. She always had a smile on her face, she was always positive, laughing with everybody. She helped everybody else get through it.”

HAUPPAUGE COACH JESSECA KULESA

On the win:
“It means a lot. Today we have everything else going on. The girls have been here since 8 o’clock in the morning. I just had to hope that once they stepped out onto the field, they kind of clear their mind and get ready to play soccer.”

On how the team has had so much success this season:
“Her name is Stephanie Peragallo. I’m glad she’s on my team and not the other team…It hasn’t been easy, we had a tough game against North Babylon last time, same exact score. We’ve had a couple of games like this, down to the wire. We haven’t been playing our best but we’ve been playing well enough to give ourselves opportunities.”

On Keri McCarthy:

“I saw a freshman get on that field and step up and do the things we needed to do. She did a lot of good things before that to but that’s the perfect example of someone taking advantage of an opportunity. I was so happy that she was able to go in do her job, work hard and she created that goal.”

On Peragallo:
“She is just a phenomenal girl, all over. Off the field, on the field. She is going to college for lacrosse and you would never know it. Other girls that are even commited to go to school for soccer, high school soccer they are a little bit done with it, they are getting ready for that next step. She goes on that field and she wants nothing but a win and she’ll do anything to get it.”

On defenses focusing on Peragallo:
“We move her around a little bit to try to mix things up and confuse them. You just have to have that someone will step up and have a big day.”

On preparing for the playoffs:
“We have Steph and she makes a big difference but we have to get better, there’s no doubt about it. We’re going to come up against someone in League II or League III, they’re a lot tougher, they’re a lot quicker, they have a lot of skill all over the field, not just one or two players. We just have to hope that we can develop everyone else so we are playing our best at the end of the season.”

On Kicks for Cancer:
“It’s just a great opportunity to show the girls how to give back. That’s really what it’s all about. I had so many former players come back today and that just means so much. It means so much to them to be a part of it and it’s a really good feeling to know that it meant something to them.”

NORTH BABYLON COACH STEVE CORRADO:

On if playing tough against an unbeaten team was a moral victory:
“There are no moral victories in October. September, maybe, but not now…We expect to be a playoff team.”

On Peragallo’s goal:
“You can’t give space in the middle of the field to a great shooter. Peragallo had too much space. Give her space and give her a chance to shoot the ball and she’s one of the most dangerous players in the county.”

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