Nov 05, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On Saturday, the Christian Brothers Academy and Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer teams will gather at SUNY-Cortland to decide the Section III Class AA title.
F-M has not won a sectional title since 1996, while CBA has gone four years since last claiming a championship, in 2005, while in the Class A ranks.
Regardless of what was going to happen, a new champion was going to emerge, brought together by what took place in last Wednesday’s Class AA semifinals at Marcellus High School. In both instances, a favorite took out a pesky upstart.
CBA, even short-handed, had full command of its semifinal against no. 6 West Genesee, but needed a pair of goals late in regulation to put away the Wildcats 2-0. Right after that, F-M was more methodical against no. 8 seed Auburn, but beat the Maroons by that same 2-0 margin.
The Brothers’ task against West Genesee (who had upset Liverpool 2-1 in the quarterfinals) was made tougher by the absence of Caitlin McConnell due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
But with Taylor Gait moved to the front to work alongside Alexis Koval and eighth-grader Eva Gordon taking a larger role, CBA still kept the Wildcats’ defense occupied throughout night with a continuous series of attacks.
It took every bit of WG’s resilience on the defensive side, plus great work in goal by Moriah Saidel, to keep the game 0-0 deep into the second half. Also, some luck got involved as three different CBA shots hit goal posts or crossbars.
The task appeared to get tougher for the Brothers when Koval briefly went to the sidelines with a leg cramp. But with 7:26 left, and Koval still watching, CBA finally put in the go-ahead goal as Gait set up Kara Modliszewski for a 20-yard shot that screamed past Saidel just inside the left post.
WG rarely put together an organized attack, and when it tried to step up pressure after Modliszewki’s goal, the Brothers countered with a fast break– and with 3:14 to play, Koval finished off that fast break with the clinching goal, fed by Gait from the left side.
Now CBA got to watch as F-M, the no. 4 seed, dealt with Auburn, who had turned the entire sectional tournament upside down by shocking top seed and defending champion Baldwinsville 1-0 in the quarterfinal round.
On the defensive side, F-M never let Maroons star Laura Taylor get many open looks. Back-line players Mollie Caputo, Julia Reagan, Bri Dolan and Shannon Blanford took turns protecting the net, especially in opening minutes, when Auburn had all the scoring chances, but could not pull in front.
Then the Hornets attacked — and just 9:13 into the game, Sara Rothschild charged up the middle and, when goalie Aubrey Campbell came out to challenge, slid the ball past her into the unoccupied net, putting F-M up 1-0.
From there, it remained fairly quiet until the second half. In the 51st minute, Rothschild got free again and, off a pass from Jessica Straub, put home her second goal of the night.
Auburn would pick up its attack again in the late going, but could not get on the board. Freshman goalie Nina Quigley had a solid showing, earning six saves.