Floral Park #4 Evelyn Ordonez sets up a pass as...

Floral Park #4 Evelyn Ordonez sets up a pass as Sewanhaka #22 Alex Lisi closes in to block during the game held at Sewanhaka High School. (Sept. 23, 2010) Credit: Frank Koester

The chants of "Mong, Mong, Mong!" rang out from her bench before Michelle Mongiello even got the ball. But Sewanhaka had finally infiltrated Floral Park's circle and desperately needed to score. As it's been for a year, they call on Mong in times of need.

And she delivered. Jessica Santoli rifled a shot that deflected off the goalie's shin guard and kicked out to Mongiello, who slapped the tying goal into the left corner with 26:13 remaining.

Smothering defenses and excellent goalie play ensured there would be no more scoring . . . or a winner, as the teams played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw Thursday in Nassau League IV.

"A tie feels like a win and a loss in one," said Mongiello, who leads Nassau with eight points. "But I guess we'll take it."

Sewanhaka's offense had struggled to get untracked and the Knights dominated the ball, but the goal made all that moot. As did Marcella Castellano, who had 13 saves and received a rousing ovation from her teammates afterward.

"I can't say enough about my goalie and defense," said Indians coach Deirdre Kelly, whose team is now 2-0-1. "They might've spent 27 of the first 30 minutes deep in our territory."

The Knights (3-0-1) capitalized early when Kayla Vargas, off a give-and-go from Hannah Schlechter, scored 6:53 into the game.

"I was only sort of confident after I scored," said Vargas, who leads the county with five goals. "We know Sewanhaka is the kind of team that might come back."

They did, but Floral Park's defense clamped down after Mongiello's goal - the first they'd yielded this season.

"The defense is awesome and they're the reason we've done what we have," said goalie Francesca Nargentino, who made two saves. "Shout out to [defender] Erin Kelly!"

Castellano had similar compliments for her defense, which endured heavy pressure.

The extra periods featured a series of missed opportunities. Castellano kicked away a penalty corner shot as time expired in the first overtime. In the second session, each team had two potential winners roll just wide of the post.

The tie and the teams' current standings are a testament to the quick progress they've made, said Floral Park coach Tracy Blinder. A year ago, the Knights won this matchup 4-3 in overtime (on Schlechter's third goal), but finished 3-11. Sewanhaka, in its inaugural season, won just four games.

"It's great to see how much both teams have grown," Blinder said. "It's been awesome to watch."

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