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    Hauppauge's Peragallo a defensive game-changer

    by Stephen Haynes on
    Mon, Apr 2, 2012 10:27 AM

    Updated Mon, Apr 2, 2012 6:13 PM
    Hauppauge's Peragallo a defensive game-changer

    The concept that "defense wins championships" is applicable to girls lacrosse might draw a chuckle or scoff. The game, by its design and rules, is geared for scoring.

    Hauppauge, though, doesn't play that. The Eagles captured their first Suffolk Class B title last season in large part because of a defense that yielded 5.95 goals per game, including six contests in which opponents were held to three or fewer.

    At the center of that is Stephanie Peragallo, the second-ranked defender in the country. Yes, country. Not county.

    "Defending is more so a mind game than skill; you have to be smart," Peragallo said. "The game is designed for attacks to shine, so you have to be aware of all they can do, anticipate and stop it . . . In lacrosse, especially girls, there aren't too many things you can do to take the ball away."

    Peragallo found a way, forcing 66 turnovers and had 63 ground balls, which she attributes to hustle. "On the 50-50s and ground balls, you have to want to get it," she said. "The team that controls possession is gonna win."

    As Hauppauge has shown.

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