Critical goal by Alyssa Pearce lifts Shoreham-Wading River

Shoreham's Alyssa Pearce moves the ball into the Shoreham's Alyssa Pearce moves the ball into the Eastport zone late in the second half. (April 15, 2013) Photo Credit: George A. Faella

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Two days after her team's worst game of the year and Shoreham-Wading River's only loss of the season, Alyssa Pearce asked teammate and goalie Lauren Daly what she could do to make sure the same thing didn't happen again, this time against one of the best goalkeepers in the county.

Daly's advice? "She's good high, especially close," Pearce recalled Daly saying of Eastport-South Manor counterpart Sam Giacolone. "So I was practicing that with my goalie."

Credit Daly with the unofficial assist.

Pearce's outside shot, a bouncer that squirted past the goal line, broke a tie at 6 with 5:49 left, keying Shoreham's 8-6 Division II girls lacrosse win Monday over ESM, the defending Suffolk Class B champion.

Thirty seconds later, Shannon Rosati, who had the official assist on Pearce's goal, succeeded in similar fashion -- a low shot that sneaked into the bottom right corner of the cage -- to provide the margin of victory. Both tallies came with a man-up advantage.

A 12-5 loss Saturday to Sayville, the other Class B powerhouse, "really opened our eyes," said Rosati, who finished with three goals. "We needed to get back on track today and play the way we usually do."

Shoreham-Wading River (5-1) had a 4-1 lead 15 minutes into the game, but Jaqueline Wasilko's falling tally with 20:53 left to play and Kristin Anderson's free position three minutes later tied it at 6 for Eastport-South Manor. The score remained tied for more than 11 minutes on the strength of strong defense and big stops on both sides, notably by Shoreham's Meredith Bushell, who had four ground balls and six forced turnovers.

That's when Pearce struck. Coach Mary Bergmann said of the goal: "It gave you this sense of relief for about eight seconds, until you realize you have to go back to the draw control."

But Rosati's goal and a big save by Daly on a free position with 3:04 left gave Bergmann the breathing room she wanted. The win was big, the coach said, and not for the usual reasons. "They didn't want to feel the way they did on Saturday ever again," Bergmann said, noting that the team didn't have a chance to practice between games. "[The Sayville loss] was a massive collapse on all levels . . . But they wanted to prove that we can fall and we can get up again."

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