The West Islip girls soccer team celebrates their miracle come-from-behind...

The West Islip girls soccer team celebrates their miracle come-from-behind victory over Sachem North. West Islip defeated Sachem North 3-2. (November 11, 2009) Credit: Newsday/Joseph D. Sullivan

After West Islip erased a two-goal deficit with nine minutes remaining, the game seemed destined for overtime. The final seconds were ticking off in a 2-2 tie as West Islip's Alexis Pilkington sent a pass to Codi-Lynn Johnson who dribbled down the sideline, pulled up 25 yards out and sent an arching shot toward the goal. The ball sailed with the fate of the Class AA Suffolk County championship hanging in the balance.

>>PHOTOS: High school sports -- November

Three seconds. The ball began to make its descent. Sachem North goalkeeper Erin McNulty was in perfect position but the placement of the shot rendered her helpless. All she could do was look up at it and hope it went over the net or wide.

Two seconds. The ball carries over McNulty's head, falling just under the crossbar and just inside the left post.

One second. The ball lands in the corner of the goal as time expires, giving West Islip a stunning 3-2 comeback win yesterday and the county championship. The Lions mobbed Johnson as the Flaming Arrows walked off in disbelief.

"I knew we needed to score," Johnson said. "I saw the ball coming and used my speed. I saw the space and the defender coming and just shot it as hard as I can hoping it would go in. I thought it had a slight chance. When I saw it go in I was so happy. One of the best games I ever played in."

Johnson's goal was her second of the game and the third scored by No. 6 West Islip in the final nine minutes to erase a two-goal lead by No. 8 Sachem North at Dowling. West Islip advances o take on Massapequa in the regional finals at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Tully Field.

Sachem North scored two goals in the opening 10 minutes. Ashlee Thompson scored 1:14 in and Jessica Wyckoff added another eight minutes later. But it was the final nine minutes of the game that will have people talking.

Johnson put in a deflection with just over nine minutes left to cut the lead to 2-1. With 2:30 remaining, Kelsey Raschke sent a corner kick to Mikayla Walton who tied the game on a header.

"Unbelievable," West Islip coach Nick Grieco said. "The girls never gave up, they just kept coming. They scored three goals in nine minutes. That's who we are. We came together and never gave up."

In what was a tremendous season for Sachem North, coach Claude Amallobieta had to make a bus trip home that every coach dreads. "I'm not sure you can really have a loss hurt more than that one," he said. "It was a very quiet bus ride back, quite a few tears shed. Just really somber."

Johnson sent up a prayer and her prayer was answered. One more dribble and time runs out. One foot higher and the game is in overtime.

"It's amazing, " Johnson said. "We are county champs. Best way to end my senior year."

>>PHOTOS: High school sports -- November

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