Dominique Bono had the bitter taste of defeat in her mouth, and the only way to get rid of the acid was redemption.
Last season, Shoreham-Wading River topped Bono’s Islip squad for the county championship in a dramatic match that ended in penalty kicks.
On Tuesday, however, Bono and Islip tasted sweet victory.
Bono’s first-half goal proved the game-winner as No. 2 Islip was crowned Suffolk Class A girls’ soccer champions after defeating No. 4 Shoreham-Wading River, 1-0, at Hauppauge.
“We were determined to beat them,” Bono said. “Losing to them last year wasn’t great. We definitely wanted to beat them today and here we are, county champs.”
The Buccaneers’ game plan this time was to start strong on offense.
“Our offense had to get started within the first 15, 20 minutes of play,” coach Mike Reilly said. “We had to try to find a way to win today against an unbelievably talented team. Dom started it off for us and our defense finished.”
The scoring play started when Bono won the ball at half field. She passed it to Alyssa Sparks, who “backdoored” the ball back to Bono. She was alone to the goalie’s right, went 1-on-1 and scored with 12:45 remaining in the first half.
The second half was all about the defense.
Shoreham held the ball in the attacking half, but Islip’s defense — led by Hailey Franco and goalie Kelsey Scheidel — preserved the win.
Scheidel finished with nine saves, including catching a header with 16:54 remaining in regulation, earning her a second shutout win over Shoreham.
“Our game plan going into this was to double up on their best player and it worked out for us,” Scheidel said. “Without the rest of the defense, we wouldn’t be here. They did a great job marking up and I added a few touches.”
The next step for Islip will be the Long Island championship, which takes place on their home turf, at 5 pm. on Saturday.
The Buccaneers will find out their opponent Wednesday after MacArthur and Valley Stream South face off for the Nassau Class A title.
The last time the Buccaneers won the Suffolk title, in 2015, they went on to win the L.I. title and the state crown.
Can history repeat?
Scheidel added, “I love my team and we’re going all the way.”