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Kelly Marra's goal, tough defense lift Sayville

Sayville's Kelly Marra gets congratulations from Julianne Johnston

Sayville's Kelly Marra gets congratulations from Julianne Johnston after scoring the game's only goal off a header to the right of the goal in the second half on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Frugality is the defining trait of Sayville's girls soccer team, and it was on display again as the Golden Flashes defeated Islip, 1-0, in League V Tuesday at Greeley Avenue Field.

Sayville (10-0-1), which has shut out six consecutive opponents, hasn't allowed a goal since Sept. 20. The opponent that day: Islip, which struck the Lotto with one goal in a 2-1 loss.

"We're kind of hanging our hat on that,'' Sayville coach Joe Nasta said. "It was a motivating factor to really play hard and play well because they're the last team to score against us. The girls know that.''

The girls also knew the competitive history between the teams. Islip (6-3) ousted Sayville in the 2011 Suffolk Class A semifinals and the 2012 title game. Sayville has taken four of the last five matches, including last year's championship.

"Everyone knows that Islip's our rival for years now,'' said Julianne Johnston, who assisted on Kelly Marra's goal in the 50th minute Tuesday. "It's hard to beat this team any time,'' Johnston added. "It's always going to be a battle.''

The Golden Flashes made it even harder by wasting several opportunities in the first 50 minutes, none better than Marra's point-blank shot two minutes after the break. Islip goalkeeper Cassidy Hock, who had 11 saves, came out but allowed a ball to slip through her legs. Marra corralled it but sent her shot high over the net.

"It was just a big jumble and a lot of pressure, and I just fumbled,'' Marra said. "I wanted to get it back. It made me even more fired up to score.''

Eight minutes later, she aligned herself with a shot at redemption, as Sayville had a throw-in from near the right corner.

"Usually off our throw-ins, we just want to get everything in the box,'' Johnston said. "I told [Marra] to get behind me. I flicked it, and she put a great goal in.''

And, of course, the defense maintained the lead. Kiarra Grimes had eight saves, and Sayville did not allow any shots on goal in the last eight minutes.

"Our defense did so well. I'm so proud of them,'' Johnston, a forward, said. "For them to be able to hold that up for a shutout, that means the world to us. [Grimes] is awesome. We wouldn't be anywhere without her, and our defensive line is so solid. I couldn't ask any more from them.''

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