South Side girls win LI Class 'A' title
It's unlikely you'll ever hear Christina Klaum say she's satisfied. The South Side forward has lofty goals and high expectations as she leads one of the most successful girls soccer programs in the state.
"I kept pushing myself this year," Klaum said. "I had the motivation to keep working hard because every new year, I have to prove myself.
Klaum scored the game's only goal as South Side defeated Islip, 1-0, in the Class A Long Island Championship/Southeast Regional final Saturday night at Denton Avenue Park. South Side (13-2-4) earns its 23rd LIC and faces Williamsville South in the state semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m. at Cortland High School.
Michaela Lynch sent a cross from 25 yards out on the right side to lead Klaum into the box. With the ball bouncing as she ran to it, Klaum kicked it mid-bounce and chipped it over the head of Islip's Tara Mackey in the 27th minute.
"I was waiting for [Lynch] to play me a through ball but the ball was kind of bouncing," Klaum said. "I saw the goalie coming at me, so I tried to chip it, across her hand, over her, into the back of the net."
Klaum, a sophomore, is the leading scorer for the Cyclones with nine of her 18 goals coming in the postseason, a stat not lost on her coach.
"She has been on complete fire during the playoffs," South Side coach Shannon McEntee said. "She's been a motivation and inspiration for the rest of her teammates going to goal. It doesn't matter what year you are, when you have that amount of talent and drive, you're going to make things happen."
Islip nearly tied the game with 8:50 to play but the goal was disallowed because the referee ruled South Side goalkeeper Kelsey Berki (four saves) had possession of the ball before an Islip player knocked it away from her.
McEntee said she could not see the play but felt the officials made a "judgment call."
"If Berki had possession of the ball, you can't attack the keeper like that," McEntee said. "They made a judgment call on it."
Klaum nearly picked up an assist early in the second half when she sent a through ball to Victoria Reis but Mackey came out to make a tough save.
Islip had a pair of scoring chances in the first half but hit the post both times. Morgan Santoro ripped a shot from 20 yards out on the left side in the 12th minute and hit the near post and Kathleen Burns took a shot from 10 yards in the 22nd minute which hit the outside of the left post.
Mackey made nine saves for Islip (8-9-1).