Rocky Point was clinging to a one-goal edge over East Islip and it was starting to get a little late in this showdown between two unbeaten girls soccer teams running 1-2 under the power points column in Suffolk Division II.
Then Alyssa Ancona suddenly tied it with 11:31 showing on the clock.
"I have confidence in our team," Rocky Point coach Peter Costa said. "So I still thought we’d be OK."
Indeed, they were OK. Senior forward Alex Kelly responded quickly, scoring just 45 seconds after Ancona’s goal. The first-place Eagles held on for a 3-2 road win Tuesday.
"Well, I guess we’re a team to be reckoned with," Costa said.
Rocky Point moved to 14-0 overall and 12-0 in the division with two games left. East Islip fell to 11-1-2 and 10-1-1. Rocky Point led East Islip by 11.84 power points coming into the game.
"It was definitely a really big confidence booster for us," Kelly said. "But I’m sure we’re going to see them again in the [Class A] playoffs. So we can’t get too cocky about it."
Gianna Amendola had given the Eagles a 2-1 lead just 2:14 into the second half, beating Izzy Kelly for her 27th goal.
Ancona’s tying goal came off a set up by Kate Alexander. But Kelly untied it off a rebound.
"I don’t usually take the far shots, but I just saw the opportunity," Kelly said. "It kind of went in slow motion, to be honest."
The Eagles found themselves in a strange place after 10:48 had passed in the game — behind. They hadn’t trailed all season. Alexander beat MaryKate Abernethy from the right side off a long assist from Jenna Borelli, good for a 1-0 lead.
"I was trying to keep it at one goal, just because I knew a lot of our girls get in our heads, including myself," said Abernethy, who made 11 saves.
Sophia Wood tied it with 9:39 left until the break. But it was Abernethy who saved Rocky Point before that with two standout stops.
"She was unbelievable," Costa said. "The reason we won the game. And the defense."
East Islip coach Ben Diallo also thinks the teams could meet again.
"This game could have gone either way," Diallo said. "They finished their chances … We are disappointed, but we respect the opponent."