High School Field Hockey:
Thursday, September 17, 1998
By Rocky Zarrelli
The Cherry Hill High School East Cougars have begun their 1998 varsity field hockey season with a roar, devouring their first two opponents while scoring nine goals and allowing none.
"Looking at my kids, I feel very confident," said East head coach Sue Schooley. "They are one of the best teams I've ever coached," said Schooley, in her 19th year coaching field hockey at East, of her current squad, which opened the season defeating host Camden Catholic 4-0 September 15, the came home to beat Highland 5-0 September 17.
"We have the hardest conference in the world," said Schooley, whose team plays in the American Division of the Olympic Conference, "but we can give everyone a run for their money."
Senior co-captain Kate Walsh, playing left inside, scored the Cougars' first two goals at Camden Catholic before halftime. The first, at 11:00, was unassisted; the second, scored with two minutes to play in the half, was assisted by junior left outside Beth Habina, who then scored a goal of her own 13:00 into the second half, assisted by senior center back Jenny Szczurek.
Junior right link Deanna DiBruno's goal with five minutes remaining, assisted by sophomore left link Iris Goldstein, completed East's first-game scoring.
Starting goaltender Jane Cabalo, a junior, needed to make only one save; she played about 40 minutes before senior Carissa Graham, who also only had to stop one shot, finished the game.
"Our defense hasn't really been tested," Schooley said.
Game two vs. Highland saw East test a defense whose goaltender had "just put on the pads a couple of weeks ago, and had "never played field hockey before," according to Highland head coach June Cioffi.
"She's got to be the toughest kid on the team," said Cioffi of junior goalie Kelly Jernegan, who held the Cougars scoreless in the first half, stunningly stopping the first 24 shots on goal she saw in her career.
"Their goaltender was very good," Schooley said, "(so) we made some minor adjustments at halftime."
Two minutes and 12 seconds of playing time and adjustments later, senior co-captain and right outside Kristy Gallagher scored on a play she started from a corner by passing to Walsh, who passed to DiBruno, who set up Gallagher's goal.
"It was beautiful," Schooley said. "Once we got that first goal we felt, 'The pressure's off now; we can really have fun.'"
At 6:49 Gallagher made another beautiful play: After stealing the ball and fast-breaking down the right sideline (think, "Mark Messier in his prime"), Gallagher passed to Walsh in the low slot for the goal.
Walsh assisted on Gallagher's second goal at 11:30.
Junior right link Joanne Ilustre scored at 20:16, assisted by senior left back and co-captain Leslie Fabello.
Gallagher completed her three-goal hat trick with 1:18 to play, assisted by Szczurek.
Jernegan still turned away 16 other second-half shots to finish her first game with an astounding 40 saves.
"(Jernegan) was amazing," Schooley said.
What may be more amazing is Cherry Hill East - in 1997 a 3-13-0 team that scored only 15 times all year - has nine goals after two games and may contend for the conference title.
"(Most of) the players spent last year learning the game," Schooley said. "(This year), we had an excellent preseason (2-1-0, winning the last two), and we're keeping the momentum going."
Photos by Art Redd
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