Oct 28, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
One more time this autumn, the faithful gathered at Swan Pond to see if the Fayetteville-Manlius soccer teams could move ahead in the Section III Class AA playoffs.
Only one of them could.
In a hard-fought AA quarterfinal, the no. 3 seed F-M boys team got past no. 6 seed Liverpool 1-0, riding Shane Ramage’s first-half goal for much of the night.
But the girls soccer Hornets, despite having a similar no. 3 seed, fell in the quarterfinal round for the third year in a row, beaten 2-0 by defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse.
Going into the playoffs, F-M did not lack for motivation on the boys side. Each of the last two years, the Hornets had lost the AA championship game in overtime — to CNS in 2006, and to Baldwinsville in 2007.
And F-M drew a tough opening assignment in Liverpool, who had dismissed Corcoran 3-1 in last Wednesday’s opening round.
For much of the first half, neither side could break the 0-0 deadlock. But in the 35th minute, Ramage got open and, off a pass from Brian Ward, launched a shot past Warriors goalkeeper Jacob Gyder.
From that point forward, F-M could not add to the margin, thanks to Gyder’s nine saves. But the Hornets’ defense, led by Ryan Duff, Jim Dittmar and Kevin Hennessy, did a superb job bottling up Liverpool’s forwards, as goalkeeper Alex Cameron-Carter only had to make three saves.
Earlier that night, F-M’s girls took its shot at CNS, who had struggled at times this season due to a wave of injuries, but had started to get healthy by playoff time. The two sides had played to a 2-2 draw just 10 days earlier at Archie Hall Stadium.
The Hornets and Northstars played to a 0-0 first-half deadlock, the defenses holding fast as both teams had lots of chances to score, but could not convert.
However, the second half belonged to CNS forward Taylor D’Alfonso. Twice, she pushed shots past F-M goalie Rachel D’Hollander, giving the Northstars the margin it needed, and Chelsea Dunay (eight saves) kept the Hornets from answering. D’Hollander had 10 saves.
F-M’s girls finished with a 13-4-2 record, having won the CNY Counties League American division regular-season title before its playoff demise.
Seven seniors will depart, including D’Hollander, Mary Hartzheim, Mary Beth Anangnost, Corine Ward, Erika Davin, Jordan Monteleone and Leah Greenberg. Brenna Kincaid, Danielle Kennedy, Sara Rothschild, Ali Pliszka, Alexa Cappozi, Julia Reagan and LaReina Montoya will lead F-M’s returning cast in 2009.
As for the boys Hornets, it will clash with no. 2 seed CNS in Wednesday’s semifinals at West Genesee, with the winner to face Baldwinsville or CBA for the AA championship.