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Suffolk, Nassau senior all-stars split season’s last two games

Megan Tornatore, North Shore goalie, gets ready to

Megan Tornatore, North Shore goalie, gets ready to kick upfield in the first of two varsity girls soccer all-star games pitting the Nassau County seniors against their Suffolk counterparts at Bethpage High School on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Credit: James Escher

When all-stars take the soccer field, high-volume scoring can certainly be expected.

Don’t tell that to Megan Tornatore, though.

No matter how much her defense bent, the North Shore goalkeeper would not break. Tornatore totaled 14 saves to lead Nassau to a 1-0 victory over Suffolk in the first of two senior all-star soccer matches Friday night at Bethpage High School.

Tornatore earned most valuable player honors for Nassau.

“I’m very happy about it, she said of winning MVP. “Hard work pays off.”

Erin Loonie was credited with the lone goal of the first match. The Lynbrook player’s corner kick about five minutes into the contest was deflected into the back of the net by a Suffolk defender.

“It’s really exciting to end my high school career with a win,” she said. “Soccer’s been such a huge part of my life and to be able to play all four years in high school is the best experience I could’ve asked for.”

Suffolk dominated possession time throughout the opening game, with Patchogue-Medford’s Nicole Pagliuca, Bayport Blue-Point’s Ashley Gref-Mott, Bay Shore’s Keonjah Nugent and Brentwood’s Shyla Murray applying relentless pressure while Tornatore recorded nine saves over the first 40 minutes.

“I was a little thrown off by that,” Tornatore said of Suffolk’s tenacity. “Most of the time you know your players’ strengths and weaknesses. That was a whole piece of that puzzle I didn’t have in that game.”

One of her most impressive saves occurred about eight minutes into the action on a diving stop. She followed that by sprinting out of the goal and beating Murray to a loose ball 15 minutes in.

Tornatore saved every type of shot, including four free kicks by Suffolk.

The second match was a different story for Suffolk, which bounced back with a 5-0 win.

Casey Luongo of Center Moriches, who finished with three goals, fired a shot inside the left post from about 10 yards out to give Suffolk an early lead. Comsewogue’s Jamie Fischer added a goal just two minutes later. Patchogue-Medford’s Nikki Beatty tacked on a second-half goal.

Luongo was named MVP of the second match.

“It feels pretty nice,” she said. “I didn’t really expect to accomplish that today, actually, but it feels good. It was definitely a memorable experience.”

Luongo said the result of the first match provided her with some extra motivation.

“After seeing them lose, because that was a good group of girls out there too, I was a little more motivated.”

Suffolk goalkeepers Lauren E. Rodriguez, Haley Stone and Maraya Jones of Longwood, Patchogue-Medford and Copiague, respectively, combined on the shutout.

“I knew we would come out here and get the job done,” Luongo said. “We had very talented girls on this team.”

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