South Side proved once again why it is one of the top girls soccer programs in Long Island with a 3-0 defeat against Wantagh on Tuesday afternoon at Dean Skelos Field in Rockville Centre.
Christina Klaum scored her second hat trick in as many games in the Class A playoffs to lead the second-seeded Lady Cyclones in the win. Tenth-seeded Wantagh withstood a potent South Side attack at points in the game, led by senior goalkeeper Brenna Smith with 12 total saves, but sparingly found chances on the other end in the season-ending effort.
“We are making the connecting passes that we had been doing, but now were actually finishing them,” said South Side head coach Shannon McEntee. “Christina [Klaum] is really finding herself up top. She is a player out there. Defensively, my backs are very strong with moving the ball.”
Klaum, who is just a sophomore, increased her playoff total to six goals in the latest decision against Wantagh on Tuesday and in a 6-0 win over Lynbrook on Oct. 28. Junior Michaela Lynch found Klaum for the first goal in just the sixth minute of the opening half. Eight minutes later, the duo connected once again to help South Side collect a 2-0 lead.
Wantagh was able to create its own solid chances against goalkeeper Kelsey Berki and the Cyclone defense led by Caitlin Wallace as halftime approached, but the Lady Warriors remained in the back seat with a 40-minute half still left to play.
Midway through the second half, Brenna Connolly and Kaitlyn Kingston got the Warrior offense going again with the clock counting down, but just minutes later, Klaum put in a loose ball past Smith for a 3-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the quarterfinal match up.
“We take each game slowly at first," said Klaum. "We have so many opportunities and keep possession most of the time as a team, but we just need to work on shooting and finishing.. We need to play calmly. Defensively, we need to stay strong, and offensively, we need to keep moving and taking shots.”
Despite the great playoff run, which started with a convincing 3-0 defeat at Seaford, Wantagh had an unprecedented season with a line up filled with young, promising talent. Stefanie Wenz, Nikki Sliwak and Amanda Profera all scored goals for the team in the Class A playoffs.
“It was an outstanding effort and the girls came to play. Unfortunately, the better team was the other team today,” said Wantagh head coach James Polo. “We worked hard and I am just proud of the girls and how they played overall.”
Wantagh concludes its season with a 9-3-3 overall record playing out of Conference A-II. For South Side, its goal still remains intact as the team moves on to face another tough task in third-seeded Garden City on Friday afternoon at the Denton Avenue Field in New Hyde Park. Last year South Side had its string of 13 straight Nassau County titles ended by Garden City in the Nassau County Class A championship.
“We are looking forward to playing Garden City again," said McEntee. "It is one game at a time, though."