Oct 04, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
If the Cicero-North Syracuse boys soccer team can handle all that it had to deal with in Tuesday night’s fierce battle with Baldwinsville, then it just might have the stuff of champions.
Run to the point of exhaustion, the Northstars blew two different leads in regulation and had to deal with a thickening fog and 17-plus minutes of overtime at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium before finally subduing the Bees, 4-3.
To say that CNS won because Brad Myles dashed up the middle, took Jeff Gilbert’s pass and fired the game-winning goal past P.J. Goodwin with 2:55 left in double overtime is making things way too simple.
The roots of this signature victory were planted 11 months ago, on the turf at Corcoran, where the undefeated, no. 1 seed Northstars were stunned by B’ville in the Section III Class AA semifinal.
Though it was never mentioned this fall by head coach Mike McCaffery, CNS came to B’ville bent on some payback, and boosted further by the absence of the Bees’ star midfielder, Brad Tetrault, who tore two knee ligaments in a win over Fayetteville-Manlius six days earlier.
Gradually, CNS took control of the flow of play in the first half, and while most of the attacks were turned away, it did create an element of danger.
That danger played itself out when, in the 30th minute, Joe Viviano crossed to the middle — and saw the ball careen off a B’ville defender into the net, an “own goal” that gave the Northstars a 1-0 edge.
Alarmed and angry, the Bees, just off a loss to Liverpool on Sept. 29, began to swarm the CNS net. In the 36th minute, Austin Buckley’s long cross from the left found Brad Hyde. Hyde’s point-blank shot was stopped by Ryan Goettel, but Mike Perkins swooped in and put the rebound home to tie it, 1-1.
So it remained until the early portion of the second half when, in the span of half a minute, the Northstars appeared to seize permanent control.
Off a gorgeous right cross by Mike Sciarrino, Viviano flicked it into the net to CNS back up 2-1. A mere 30 seconds later, the same play netted the same result as Viviano scored again, this time off Gilbert’s feed from the right.
Quickly, CNS found out that this flurry didn’t fazed the Bees, either. The hosts picked up the attack, using Nate Bourdeau’s free kicks as a base for action. One of those long boots, in the 52nd minutes, slipped through all the CNS defenders until Sean St. Denis, charging up the middle, slung it past Goettel to make it 3-2.
With 10:52 left, the Bees got even again. Bourdeau this time took the free kick from the left, and a mad scramble ensued in front of Goettel. Amid it all, Ryan Evans got a foot on it, his shot finding the net, and it was 3-3.
As the action and physical play picked up at the end of regulation and through overtime, an already visible fog turned downright dense. As the teams entered the second and last OT period, the fog nearly obscured the two nets.
Unable to see long downfield, the Bees’ goalkeeper, P.J. Goodwin never could react to the winning sequence until it was too late.
Viviano got it going, as his pass found Gilbert. At just the right moment, Gilbert hit Myles, running down the middle. B’ville though Myles was offside, but the play held, and Myles beat Goodwin for the decisive tally.