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Girls soccer Hornets edge CNS

This time around, it's the Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer team moving ahead in the Section III Class AA semifinals at the expense of Cicero-North Syracuse.

A season ago, the Northstars knocked out the Hornets - but it turned around Thursday night at Swan Pond as F-M dominated the early going, then turned to its defense to preserve a 1-0 victory over the Northstars in the AA quarterfinals.

Exactly 12 months ago, this same round and on this same home field, the Hornets lost 2-0, and that memory burned with all the F-M players right through this season, when it split two regular-season meetings with CNS.

Sure enough, when the Class AA brackets were announced, the Hornets and Northstars were paired up once more, and the Hornets showed more energy from the start as it sought payback against CNS.

Aggressive on the offensive side, F-M's midfielders probed and waited for the right opportunity. That came less than 12 minutes into the game, when Bri Dolson's free kick went to Sara Rothschild. Quickly, Rothschild found Morgan Same, whose low shot eluded Chelsea Dunay and sneaked inside the left post.

Throughout the half, the Hornets applied heavy pressure, and while not adding to the lead, it barely let CNS establish its attack. Every bit of the effort from Dunay and the Northstars' defense was required to keep a one-goal margin going into the break.

CNS did show more aggression in the second half, but it only flickered, then went back into retreat.

The F-M back line, led by Dolan, Shannon Blanford, Julia Reagan and Mollie Caputo, broke up most charges. Freshman goalie Nina Quigley only had to make one tough stop, a sliding stop well outside her net midway through the second half.

As F-M advanced to meet the winner of Friday's Auburn-Baldwinsville game, CNS saw its season conclude with a record of 10-5-2. Dunay, along with sisters Coreena and Taylor D'Alfonso, three direct links to the Northstars' run to the state AA final in 2007, are among eight graduating seniors.

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