Containing South Side’s dynamic girls’ soccer scoring duo of Christina Klaum and Kerri Cavallo doesn’t necessarily bring positive results for opponents of the defending New York State Class A champions.
Further proof came last Monday when the Lady Cyclones secured the Conference ABC-I title with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Garden City in a rematch of last year’s Nassau County Class A final. Freshman Jessica Mauro’s first career varsity goal with 7:17 remaining off a pass from freshman Juliana Klaum provided the difference.
“We’ve been getting goals and assists from so many different girls, it’s really great,” South Side coach Shannon McEntee said. “We know teams are going to focus on trying to stop Christina and Keri, but it’s tough to keep them down and even if they do we have plenty of other scorers.”
Two of the team’s top defenders, seniors Juliana Pellegrini and Kelsey Ford, produced the tying goal in the 35th minute of the first half after Garden City’s Haley O’Hanlon opened the scoring on a picture-perfect header off a corner kick by Caroline Beaty. South Side’s equalizer came off Ford’s direct free kick, which sailed into the box and was headed home by Pellegrini for her second goal of the campaign.
Both goalkeepers were tested throughout the well-played 80 minutes. Senior Sarah McCarthy made eight saves for the Lady Cyclones (12-1-1 overall), who avenged a 1-0 defeat to the Lady Trojans on Oct. 1. Taylor Carpenter turned aside 11 shots for Garden City, which slipped to 10-3-1.
“We knew this would be an intense game,” McEntee said. “It usually is anytime us and Garden City get together. They beat us earlier in the season at our place, and on the bus ride over we talked about how to handle things if we fell behind or took the lead.”
Pellegrini, Kelsey Ford, Allie Ford and Jessica Hawley led the all-senior defensive effort in front of McCarthy, who has seven shutouts on the year. “I thought we played strong and composed defense,” McEntee said. “You never like to give up the first goal, but we shut them down after that.”
With her game-winning goal, Mauro became South Side’s 13th player to put the ball in the net this season. Cavallo notched her team-leading ninth in a 1-0 non-conference win over Massapequa on Oct. 10. Hawley (six) and junior Stephanie Leonardo (three) scored in a 2-0 victory over Clarke two days later. Christina Klaum has six goals, giving her 57 for her illustrious career, and four assists. Kelsey Ford leads the way in assists with six.
“We still have a few things we want to work on, but the girls are stepping up and improving every game,” McEntee said.
In tow with the conference title is the No. 1 seed in the county Class A playoffs, which get underway this Friday. South Side will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent at Skelos Sports Complex at 4:30 p.m.