After mounting two comebacks and surviving three overtimes in their win against Division in the Class A on Wednesday, the South Side Lady Cyclones refused to let the opportunity for a Long Island Championship crown slip by against Islip on Saturday.
Sophomore Christina Klaum scored the lone, decisive goal in a 1-0 win over Islip at Denton Avenue Park, securing South Side's 23rd Long Island Championship and a spot in the state semifinals starting next weekend.
Assisted by Michaela Lynch on the goal, Klaum controlled Lynch's bouncing cross, then finished by putting it in the back of the net, a strategy that Klaum said she has implemented all season.
"I saw the goalie running at me and I just knew I had to get a foot on it or something," said Klaum, who's racked up 18 goals in the 2011 season. "We've been working on that all season — just anything in the back of the net to get the goal."
"Michaela's cross was great," she added. "I thought it was going to be on the floor but it was bouncing which worked great."
South Side head coach Shannon McEntee said Klaum has been an inspiration to her team, even though she's only a sophomore.
"She really has wanted this," McEntee said. "She's talented. It doesn't matter what year you are, when you have that amount of talent and drive, you're going to make things happen."
Saturday's win was the first Long Island Championship for McEntee, who is in her second year as head coach at South Side.
"It feels fantastic, I'm so happy for them," said McEntee, adding that it felt especially great after last year's devastating loss in the county finals to Garden City.
With less than nine minutes left on the clock, Islip nearly knotted the score, but the play was quickly dismissed once referees noted South Side goalkeeper Kelsey Berki had possession of the ball until it was knocked out of her hands by the opposing team.
"You can't attack the keeper like that," McEntee said of the play. "[Berki] had possession and you just can't do that."
Before heading to the state finals next weekend, McEntee said her teams still need to refocus on certain aspecs of their game.
"We need to work on the speed of play, getting the ball back on the ground and a little quicker movement," she said. "A couple of extra goals would be nice."