Even when the Baldwinsville boys soccer team does not overwhelm the senses at first glance, the eventual flow of play will do the trick.
This was the lesson no. 5 seed Christian Brothers Academy learned as the no. 1 seed Bees moved to 19-1 on the season in last Thursday's Section III Class AA semifinal at West Genesee, beating the Brothers 3-0.
By virtue of winning that game, the Bees earn a shot at its second consecutive AA title as it meets no. 2 seed Cicero-North Syracuse in the AA championship game. The Northstars beat no. 3 seed Fayetteville-Manilus 1-0 in the other semifinal in Camillus.
With 15 shutouts on the season, B'ville's defense did not need much help, but got it anyway when CBA did not have its leading scorer, freshman star Emmanuel Collins, on the field due to injury.
That, plus the knowledge that CBA had faced Class A teams all season in the OHSL Freedom division, gave the Bees more confidence -- but also, some patience was required.
Through a 0-0 first half, the Bees and Brothers both had fair amounts of chances. Any time CBA attacked, though, defenders Ryan Wells, Mason Collins and Jon Goodridge went with them, blocking the path with speed, size and tenacity, making sure goalkeeper P.J. Goodwin was left alone.
On the offensive side, the Bees probed and put on a little more pressure late in the first half and early in the second half, waiting for just the right moment to take charge.
That came in the 55th minute, on a corner kick from the right side. Goodridge took it with his left foot, and the ball bent beautifully to the middle, where Kyle Rogers got a foot on it and sent it past Heath Ferris into the net.
Just seven minutes later, Ryan Evans found himself open just right of the net and crushed a shot home to make it 2-0. Evans would add another tally with 3:24 left, and Rogers earned assists on both goals.
B'ville and CNS met once in the regular season, a 2-0 victory for the Bees, but the rematch will carry far greater implications. The winner advances to next weekend's regional final against the Section II (Albany area) champs, with a berth in the state final four at Oneonta on the line.