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South Side, St. John the Baptist play to tie in girls soccer

South Side's Keri Cavallo soars through the air

South Side's Keri Cavallo soars through the air after hitting a shot on goal during a game against St. John the Baptist on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Klaum and Cavallo scored for South Side. Soccer fans have heard that line many, many times before. But this time, there was a slight difference.

You remember Keri Cavallo, don't you? Well, Monday she scored the tying goal with 11:47 remaining as the Cyclones and St. John the Baptist played to a 2-2 draw at Dean Skelos Sports Complex in Rockville Centre.

Now allow Juliana Klaum to introduce herself.

"Christina is my older sister," she said of the former Newsday Player of the Year who teamed with Cavallo to guide South Side to a pair of state titles. "We are very similar players. I hope I can do big things."

The first goal of her career was a good place to start. Ally Diez won the ball at midfield and played it to Alexandra McNicholas on the outside. McNicholas crossed to Cavallo, whose shot was deflected by the keeper. Klaum, a sophomore, rushed the net and knocked in the rebound, giving South Side a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.

Whereas South Side is looking to reclaim its throne after falling to Garden City on penalty kicks in the county final, St. John the Baptist is looking to defend its throne.

The defending CHSAA state champions pulled even with the Cyclones at 1 in the 12th minute after Bridget Patch sent a feed to Gianna Giroux, who fired a one timer into the back of the net. The line "One timer by Giroux!" also has been heard many times before. But that's in the NHL, when Gianna's distant cousin, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, fires a shot.

"Patch got the ball in the corner and I knew it was wide open for the cross," Giroux said. "I got in the box and hit it right in."

Stephanie Sheridan then scored the go-ahead goal . . . on a pass.

She carried the ball toward the end line and fired a cross into the box. The ball hit off a defender and deflected into the net to put the Cougars up, 2-1 with just under 18 minutes left.

Colleen Hickey made 10 saves for SJB (0-1), including many diving stops.

"We look back at last season as an extreme success and something that was one of the best moments of our lives," Patch said. "But we have to put that aside because it's a new year and a new season. We just have to win it again."

They were minutes from a win Monday until Cavallo changed that. She pulled up from 23 yards out and fired a shot that caromed off the crossbar and into the net to even the score at 2 for South Side (1-0-1).

"I saw an opportunity to shoot and I decided to take it because you can't score without shooting," Cavallo said. "I took a chance and it went in. To see that ball in the back of the net and see my sideline just glow was amazing."

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