No words were needed to describe the emotions of the Shoreham-Wading River girls soccer team Tuesday night.
Their swollen eyes and sad expressions said it all.
The third-seeded Wildcats just played an epic game in the Suffolk County Class A quarterfinals against visiting and sixth-seeded Sayville, losing in a penalty-kick shootout, 4-2, after playing to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes.
They had hoped to reach the county final to avenge a pair of regular-season losses to defending state champion Islip.
Goalkeeper Kiarra Grimes turned out to be the hero for the Golden Flashes (8-2-3), converting her penalty kick attempt and saving Sophia Triandafilis’ try. Teammates Ellie McAuliff, Chole Argenziano and Kelly Marra (game-winner) put home their kicks.
For Shoreham (10-3-2), Alex Kuhnle and Ashley Bachmann converted their penalties. Caitlin Kelly’s kick hit the crossbar.
Things were looking up for Shoreham after a Sayville player was assessed her second yellow card and a red card for fouling Haley Rose with seven minutes and 42 seconds left in the first half. The Golden Flashes were forced to play the remaining 77:42 a player down.
Sayville drew first blood with 29:55 to go in the opening half when McAuliff forced goalkeeper Lydia Kessel to come out of the net on the left side before she slipped a pass to Erin Peyton, who slotted the ball home from the right side of the penalty area.
The Wildcats equalized with 32:11 remaining in the second half when sophomore striker Nicky Constant took a pass from Triandafilis, turned on her defender and the drilled the ball into the back of the net.
After playing a pair of 10-minute overtimes and another two five-minute sudden-victory OT periods, the game went to penalty kicks, where the Golden Flashes prevailed.
Sayville will play Harborfields, 2-0 winners over Rocky Point Tuesday, in Friday’s semifinals.
Photo caption: Alex Kuhnie drives toward the net against Sayville Tuesday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)