Catania leads Hammonton ahead of Ocean City

THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Hammonton keeper Angelina Catania recorded 16 saves in last week’s win at Ocean City.

OCEAN CITY—Angelina Catania had a rough day the first time the Hammonton High School field hockey team faced arch-nemesis Ocean City this season.

The junior keeper allowed two goals early in the game as Ocean City posted a 3-1 win.

Those first-quarter scores rocked Catania, but she had no nerves in last week’s rematch, dominating in front of the cage to help Hammonton win 1-0.

The win was the first loss this season to a Cape Atlantic League opponent for Ocean City and marked the first time anyone involved with Hammonton’s field hockey program remembered beating the Raiders.

“It’s the best I’ve ever seen her play,” Hammonton coach Kristen Silvesti said of Catania’s performance.

“She was amazing,” Silvesti said.

Melissa Durham, who coaches goalkeepers at Hammonton, agreed.

“In the first game, those two goals really shook her up, but once she settled in, she played really well.

Last week she was focused and played an amazing game,” Durham said.

Kiley Kozlowski’s goal from an assist from Brianna Gazzara gave Hammonton a 1-0 first-quarter lead, 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 earned 12 penalty corners. The Raiders dominated the second half, but couldn’t slip a shot past Catania.

With just over a minute left in the game, Catania made a huge save in front of the goal and Hammonton were 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 of [winning] the division. After this first game [against Ocean City] our girls were excited and they wanted it,” Silvesti said.

The game was Hammonton’s only last week. Earlier this week, the Blue Devils played Absegami, but that match ended too late for this edition. On October 12, Hammonton performed at Egg Harbor Twp. at 16

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