South Side's Keri Cavallo finds the back of the net...

South Side's Keri Cavallo finds the back of the net with a kick during the first half of a non-league varsity girls' soccer game vs. Massapequa. (Oct. 10, 2013) Credit: James Escher

Ever hear South Side's pregame chant?

If the answer is yes, you and your poor eardrums know that they are loud. As in, "Let's not stand so close to them next time" type of loud.

Well Thursday, they reached new decibels.

"We were pumped all week for this game," Kelsey Ford said. "Our chants were extra loud."

The cheers after the game were just as deafening as the chants before it, as South Side defeated Massapequa, 1-0, at Skelos Field to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season.

Funny thing about the increased volume is that the game is the most important unimportant game of the season. It has no bearing on the standings, no effect on playoff chances.

But that's what happens when there's a showdown between two first-place teams that in the past decade have each captured nine out of 10 county titles in their respective class.

Just five minutes into the game, Ford served a corner kick that was punched out by the keeper. When the ball carried back to Ford she played a cross to Keri Cavallo, who eluded a defender and lofted a shot over the keeper to give South Side a 1-0 lead.

"We tried to come out strong early and were just pushing up," Cavallo said

Shortly after the goal, Massapequa was awarded a penalty kick after a trip in the box. Cyclones keeper Sarah McCarthy made a diving stop on a low shot to her left to stop the PK and then jumped on the rebound.

She finished with eight saves, including another diving stop midway through the second half to preserve the lead.

"This win" McCarthy said, "gives us reassurances that we can play as a unit and pull out big wins."

Massapequa goalkeeper Katie Hatziyianis played brilliantly in what was an evenly matched loss, during which the Chiefs (9-1) hit the crossbar twice. She recorded 14 saves and came out of net at the perfect times to thwart potential scoring opportunities.

"It wasn't falling for us," Hatziyianis said. "I thought we played as well as we've played all season for 90 percent of the game."

It was the other 10 percent of the game that South Side (10-1-1) capitalized on and, thus, can now be considered Nassau's best -- and loudest -- team.

"This is a huge confidence boost," Cavallo said. "If we can do this, we figure we can do anything."

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