Defending New York State Class A girls’ soccer champion South Side remained undefeated and clinched the Nassau Conference A-I title with a 2-0 victory over Plainedge at Skelos Sports Complex on Oct. 16.
Junior Christina Klaum scored her 11th goal of the season 2:57 into the game off a feed from senior Meghan Hines, and junior Juliana Pellegrini provided an insurance tally — her first goal of 2012 — 11 minutes into the second half off a corner kick to lead the Lady Cyclones (10-0-1 overall) offense. Junior goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy made five saves while posting her county-leading ninth shutout.
“I’ve been looking for us to finish a little better in the early part of games, and the past two we’ve scored early in the first half,” South Side coach Shannon McEntee said. “We created a lot of chances. We hit the crossbar three or four times, and their goalie also made some very nice saves.”
Pellegrini’s goal, a header off a corner kick by junior Jessica Hawley, was one of the nicer ones the team has scored this fall, McEntee said. “Juliana always gives us quality minutes off the bench and played the entire second half,” she said. “She’s really strong in the air. Jessica hit a perfectly placed corner and Juliana headed it right in.”
The win was South Side’s third straight following a 1-1 draw with Clarke on Oct. 4. “Not taking anything away from Clarke, but the field conditions didn’t help us that day,” McEntee said. “I couldn’t be happier with how we’ve bounced back.”
The Lady Cyclones had to wait almost a week to play again, but a non-league game at Massapequa under the lights helped them refocus, McEntee said. Sophomore Keri Cavallo scored twice and Klaum opened the scoring in a 3-1 victory. Hawley, who scored the lone goal in the tie versus Clarke, picked up two assists and junior Allie Ford had one. McCarthy made eight saves. “Even though we’re not in the same playoff bracket, it’s always one of the biggest games on our schedule,” McEntee said of Massapequa. “It’s become a fun rivalry. It’s a great game for us to see where we stand.”
South Side followed with a 6-1 conference win over North Shore on Oct. 12. Klaum and Cavallo (11 goals, seven assists) had two goals apiece, and senior Michaela Lynch and junior Kelsey Ford also found the net.
It’s likely the Lady Cyclones will be the No. 1 seed in the Nassau Class A playoffs, which begin this Friday. “We just have to continue to work on the finer details and stay disciplined,” McEntee said. “The playoffs are never an easy road.”