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Julianne Johnston's two goals lift Sayville

Sayville's Julianne Johnston, left, goes after the ball

Sayville's Julianne Johnston, left, goes after the ball against Harborfields' Emily Hahm, right. (Sept. 24, 2013) Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

The plan this season was to have Julianne Johnston light up the scoreboard. But that's hard for her to do when the scoreboard isn't even turned on.

Tuesday's's soccer game between Sayville and Harborfields was briefly delayed because there was no one available to operate the scoreboard. They ultimately played without it. But had it been on, Johnston certainly would have had those bulbs shining brightly.

The junior midfielder, who was asked by her coach to attack the goal more this season, scored on a penalty kick with 2:50 remaining to lift the Golden Flashes to a 2-1 win over Harborfields at Greeley Avenue Field in Sayville.

After Johnston was tripped in the box and awarded the kick, she fired the ball into the right corner and buried it in the back of the net.

"I'll do whatever my team needs me to do,'' she said. "I'll distribute if we need to score and I'll put them in myself if I can. I have to step up and be more aggressive and maybe score a couple more goals.''

Check and check.

Johnston also scored the equalizer after carrying the ball into the box and angling a left-footed shot inside the far post seven minutes into the second half.

Sayville keeper Kiarra Grimes, who made seven saves, and central defender Zoe Gomes made a key stop late in the game to keep the score tied at 1. With six minutes left, Grimes made a diving stop on a free kick and, with the net empty on the ensuing rebound, Gomes stopped a shot and cleared it to safety.

"It was a little nerve-racking but it ended up really well,'' Gomes said of the play. "It wasn't a rocket. It was a nice easy ball to clear and I was just in a good position.''

Caroline Wallace, a player who knows a thing or two about scoreboard illumination herself, knocked in a rebound five minutes into the game for her seventh goal, giving Harborfields a 1-0 lead.

But Johnston shined a little bit more brightly on this day, figuratively at least.

"She's got great ball control with both feet,'' Sayville coach Joe Nasta said. "When she gets the ball anywhere facing the goal, she can take on any defender and create on her own.''

And light up the scoreboard . . . when it's on.


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