Lady Cyclones win playoff opener


South Side’s quest for a third consecutive New York State girls’ soccer championship began last Friday with a 6-0 victory over Carey in a Nassau County Class A first-round playoff game at Skelos Sports Complex.

Christina Klaum scored twice in a span of 58 seconds early in the first half to set the tone for the Lady Cyclones (14-1-1), who sent more than 30 shots on goal. Lady Seahawks goalkeeper Kelsey Barnes made 25 saves. Caroline Leck, Alexandra McNicholas, Julia Ottinger and Kayla Hospodka also scored, while Keri Cavallo and Tessa Considine had two assists apiece.

“It’s an honor to be on this team and I want to do whatever I can to help us win,” said the Providence College-bound Klaum, a four-year varsity starter with more than 50 career goals. “We have a very deep team,” she added. “You saw today everyone who came off the bench played great. They played the second half and got three goals.”

For Carey, a team with only five seniors and a dozen sophomores, getting to the playoffs was a “tremendous accomplishment”, said coach Lola Intagliata. They were led by juniors Patricia Curtin (five goals, eight assists) and Francesca Cozza, seniors Barnes and Michelle Bedeian, and sophomores Brett Robison and Christina Aquafredda. “To get here and face a program like South Side was a priveledge,” she said. “It meant the world to the girls. They were thrilled to have this opportunity.”

The Lady Seahawks (6-3-5 in Conference ABC-IV) earned the final Class A playoff berth — the No. 16 seed — on the last day of the regular season when Valley Stream South settled for a 1-1 tie against Glen Cove and finished one point behind a Carey side that won three of its last four conference games. “We’re so excited for next year,” the Lady Seahawks said collectively as they gathered at midfield after the game.

South Side jumped in front in the 21st minute when Klaum booted a direct kick past Barnes, an All-Conference selection who made numerous dazzling saves. It was quickly 2-0 when Klaum converted a pass from Cavallo. Hospodka made it 3-0 in the 37th minute when she redirected a cross from Cavallo.

Leck scored unassisted with 10:42 remaining, and Considine set up Ottinger and McNicholas with 8:18 and 3:07 left, respectively, to complete the scoring. Goalkeepers Sarah McCarthy (three saves) and Maryann Boyce combined for the shutout.

Next up for South Side is a quarterfinal round matchup against Island Trees, with the winner advancing to this Saturday’s semifinal at 5 p.m. at Denton Avenue field. “We can’t slack off at all because obviously there’s a bigger target on our back after winning the state title two years in a row,” Klaum said. “If we keep working and stay focused, I think we can do big things.”