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PLAYOFFS: Cavallo Hat Trick Leads Lady Cyclones to Soccer Semis

South Side posts second consecutive playoff shutout in win over Wantagh.

Despite the fact that snow was being cleared off the field just before kickoff, the top-ranked South Side Lady Cyclones soccer team posted another impressive shutout Friday night, defeating the No. 8 Wantagh Lady Warriors 5-0 in the Class A quarterfinals at Skelos Field.

South Side forward Keri Cavallo led the way with three goals and an assist, while junior Christina Klaum had with one goal and one assist and goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy finished with nine saves in the shutout.

It had been two weeks since both teams touched the field, as Hurricane Sandy and this week's nor'easter pushed the playoff schedule back significantly.

It took eight minutes for the Lady Cyclones to get on the board, as midfielder Juliana Pellegrini set up Klaum on a through ball. After Wantagh goalie Ryley Weber made the initial save, Klaum buried the rebound for a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Warriors kept it close for the remainder of the first half, until Megan Albertsen found Cavallo on a gorgeous pass into the box that the South Side forward finished into the left side of the net.

"We've had off over a week now because of the storm and they really came back collected, ready to go," South Side head coach Shannon McEntee said. "It's like we never missed a beat, so I'm really proud of them for that."

Weber continued to keep things close early in the second half as the Wantagh goalkeeper made several close-range saves. She finished with a total of 17 saves.

"She is outstanding. She was a player that wasn't going to come out for the team," Wantagh head coach James Polo said of his keeper. "... She went and changed from the stopper position to goalie, and she proved to me that she is a true goalie."

Despite Weber's best efforts, South Side's passing paid off at the 20-minute mark when Klaum thought she netted the game's third goal as the ball ripped through the side of the net. However, the referee thought the ball went wide and ruled the play no goal.

However, seven minutes later, Klaum found Cavallo on the doorstep for an easy tap-in and a 3-0 lead.

Cavallo assisted on a goal from Katie Ford with three minutes remaining and completed her hat trick on a pass from Justine Hamilton with one minute left in regulation.

McEntee said that the time off between South Side's 6-0 win over Mineola in the first round was tough, but shouldn't affect her team from here on out.

"We train all season so hard, so hopefully it's not going to hurt us too bad," McEntee said. "They did what they could do on their own -- if their gyms were open and stuff like that, they tried to stay fit, but as a unit we haven't been together in a week, so it's tough."

On the other side of the field, Polo said his team, which defeated No. 9 Jericho in overtime in the first round, was a real "family" and he was proud of the effort all season.

"They've worked together, they've become a true team. They won with class and today they lost with class," he said. "The girls really did have a family feeling and it's sad to see the season to a team [of the] caliber we just played."

South Side will take on the winner of No. 4 Plainedge and No. 5 Island Trees Sunday at 3 p.m. at Cold Spring Harbor High School.

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