A year ago, Meg Kinne was the hero for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls soccer team, as her saves in a penalty-kick shoot-out with Liverpool in the Section III Class AA final eventually sent the Northstars to the state final four.
Whether Kinne gets that chance at glory again remains to be seen.
In the course of the Northstars' big 2-1 win over Baldwinsville on Oct. 3, Kinne injured her lower leg, sending her to the sidelines.
A week later, when CNS returned to action against Auburn, Kinne was still on crutches, unsure if she is going to play again this season.
To meet the crisis, head coach Jeremy Lenchert called up Chelsea Dunay, a freshman who was the JV starter.
Dunay's first start was a tough one, as Auburn marched into Northstar territory and fully controlled all facets of the game on its way to a 3-0 victory.
At 11-2 going into the game, Auburn was having a great season, yet was coming off a 3-0 loss to Liverpool that left some to question its worth as a title contender.
Answering those questions in an emphatic way, the Maroons used its size and speed to attack right from the start. Dunay and her fellow defenders handled all of the early crises, though, and the first half ended in a 0-0 tie.
All of that changed less than seven minutes into the second half. Laura Taylor headed Melissa Hrynyk's well-placed corner kick past Dunay and into the net, giving Auburn a 1-0 edge.
Not sitting on that lead, the Maroons kept attacking. In the 56th minute, a free kick and scramble in front of the net led to Nicole Szczepanski pounding a 20-yard shot home. As if that wasn't enough, Szczepanski later assisted on Jordan Pelc's insurance goal.
CNS would keep making its own share of attacks, but Auburn's defense held firm, and Virginia Porten made 10 saves, including a diving stop in the last minute to preserve the shutout.