Clarke's Demi Shanahan, who scored the deciding goal, fires the...

Clarke's Demi Shanahan, who scored the deciding goal, fires the ball down field during the Nassau High School field hockey game. (Oct. 12, 2011) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

There's no getting around it: Clarke is field hockey's official thrill-a-minute team. With all the close games and comebacks, the three ties, the four overtime contests . . .

"It's giving me agita!" coach Leslie Murray said. But in doing so, they've made the season a prolonged cliffhanger.

Spoiler alert: Clarke eked out this one, too, to remain undefeated.

Demi Shanahan's goal with 3:39 left allowed the Rams another sigh of relief as they topped Locust Valley, 3-2, Wednesday in Conference I.

Shanahan's first attempt was stopped, but the ball deflected back to her off the goalie's pads and, on the rebound, the midfielder scooped a shot inside the right post.

"We work well under pressure," Shanahan said after her team's third come-from-behind win. "When we're up against it, we put up a fight. Losing isn't in our playbook."

It's not on the Rams' record, either. Clarke (7-0-3) is one of two Nassau teams without a loss -- though it's gone about it a little differently than Garden City. This game was a microcosm of the season.

The Rams were outplayed during several stretches, but each time the Falcons (5-4) went ahead, they answered.

"Locust Valley always gives us a good game," Murray said. "It also took us about 30 minutes to get going, but my team just seems to get fired up when they're behind."

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead on Julia Palermo's goal off a nifty shovel pass from Bairre Reilly with 11:32 left in the first half. But Nicole Gibaldi tied it on a penalty stroke with 24:35 remaining. Sophia Ronzetti gave Locust Valley another lead at 18:46. But Emma Foster, off a feed from Alex Stokum, tied it again with 12:10 to go.

"We always find a way," said Gibaldi, whose overtime goal won the Rams' previous game.

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Amanda Gargiulo made eight saves in the win. Preston Tansill had an assist and Gabby DeAngelis had 10 saves for Locust Valley.

"There's something about us late in games," said Foster, who has two tying goals in as many games. "We just like the excitement, I guess."

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