TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Nov. 14, 2022 — One moment amongst many

If you were following our liveblog on Saturday, you might have noticed a moment during one of the Pennsylvania quarterfinal matches that deserves a deep dive — because of a very deep dive on the part of one of the players.

About seven minutes into the PIAA Class AA quarterfinal between Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.) and Mechanicsburg (Pa.), the Wildcats had a break up the left side of the field, then had a self-start from 31 yards. The Mechanicsburg midfielder threw an aerial into the circle where not one, but two teammates were waiting about two yards from the goal line.

The scene was set for a “lacrosse” goal like what Paityn Wirth scored three years ago in the Falcon Classic between Greenwood (Pa.) and Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.). On the play, a lifted pass was caressed into the goal since plays are allowed to be made above the shoulder, subject to danger.

Only it was a lacrosse player who interposed herself in Mechanicsburg’s attack. Rushing off her line and diving to stick the ball over the sideline was Crestwood senior goalie Isabella Caporuscio. But it was more than just a dive; she appeared to take off and gain altitude like a seagull in flight. (If you want to take a look at a clip, go to our Instagram or TikTok presences and be amazed.)

Since we started covering field hockey in 1988, I have never seen a better athletic play made by a high-school field hockey goalie. Never. The closest thing was watching former U.S. national teamer Barb Weinberg make a save on a lofted shot in indoor hockey.

Caporuscio runs counter to the stereotype of the field hockey goalie from 30 years ago. On most schools, goalies used to have to be begged to put on the pads, and were often a third-string softball catcher for the school or one of the slowest players on the team.

These days, a field hockey goalie is often the best athlete on the team. Want proof? Caporuscio is a highly-regarded attacking midfielder who has committed to play women’s lacrosse at perennial powerhouse Stony Brook.

The regrettable thing is that we’ve likely seen the last of her in goalie pads, seeing as SBU doesn’t have field hockey. It would have been a fun thought-experiment to see what she might have done in a college environment.

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