Though big names like Nate Bourdeau and Sean St. Denis play out front, it's the back line that gives the Baldwinsville boys soccer team its considerable bite.
Never was that more apparent than in last Tuesday night's highly-anticipated showdown with Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Bees' defense was the major factor in its 1-0 victory over the Northstars.
On a Gillette Field turf made slick by afternoon rains, neither side would generate a ton of scoring chances. Even with that, though, B'ville did a first-rate job stifling anything the Northstars tried to establish.
The senior trio of Hack, Adam Jones and Jamie Parmele, working with junior Ryan Carroll, set up a perimeter around the B'ville net, against which CNS could never break through. This kept things quiet for goalkeeper P.J. Goodwin, who had to make just two saves.
"I was pleased with our defense," said head coach Tim Scheemaker. "We did not give them (CNS) a sniff of the net all night."
Everyone on the B'ville roster came to Gillette Field with something to prove. As a whole, the Bees had taken a hit three days earlier when it lost at home to Fayetteville-Manlius by that same 1-0 margin in an uninspired effort.
Scheemaker said that loss woke the team up to the fact that it simply could not put on the red jerseys, get on the field and win, that it would take hard work, especially with someone like the defending Class AA champion Northstars on the horizon.
Also, it would help that Nate Bourdeau was back. Having already overcome foot injuries in the summer, the senior midfiedler (and chief playmaker) strained a back muscle and missed two weeks of action, including both F-M games.
Though he didn't start against CNS, Bourdeau would see plenty of game action. Scheemaker said his possession skills alone took away some of the Northstars' energy.