Ashlyn Wagner speaks softly and carries a big kick.
The sophomore forward, described by teammates and coaches as "a little shy," lets her leg do the talking. Wagner scored two goals over the final 12:10 to lift the Syosset girls soccer team to a 3-1 win over Baldwin yesterday in a matchup between the top two teams in Conference AA-II.
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"It was determination," Wagner said of the winning goal. "I needed that goal to reassure the win."
Wagner gained possession just inside midfield and charged through the box. While maneuvering around defenders, the ball momentarily bounced up in front of Wagner, before she regained control and fired past the keeper to give Syosset a 2-1 lead with 12:10 remaining.
Wagner then sealed the win after breaking free down the middle, splitting two defenders and putting a shot into the upper corner of the net with 5:37 left.
"It feels really good to help out the team," Wagner said. "We played as a team and we needed to push through."
Syosset (6-0) pushed through during a very physical second half, in which Baldwin had multiple opportunities miss just wide or high. But the defense stayed composed and goalkeeper Erica Bulzomi finished with six saves, including two diving stops midway through the second half.
"We worked together as a team to get the ball up the field," defender Molly Breslow said. "We kept our composure. We played our game."
The Braves struck early in the game when, off a throw in, Camryn Monfort chipped a pass to the far post. Tejan Singh timed her run perfectly and headed the ball in for a 1-0 lead just 2:39 into the game.
Baldwin (4-1-1), which got strong performances from Julie Annecchiarico in the back and Jenna Annecchiarico up top, evened the score at 1 with 15:08 to go. Maggie Thibault rolled a free kick past a defensive wall and Bridget Jules charged in to one-touch the ball into the net.
That equalizer paved the way for Wagner, an occasional starter who made the most of her time Wednesday.
"She was going to get a chance or two and she made the most out of two of her chances," Syosset coach Joe Marchetta said. "She forced us to keep her on the field today."
With actions that spoke louder than words.