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Boys soccer Northstars edge B'ville

Another boys soccer battle between Cicero-North Syracuse and Baldwinsville, and another 1-0 decision featuring strong defense and a late goal that decided matters.

Only this time, the Northstars prevailed, getting a goal from Kenny Cooper in the last 90 seconds of regulation to delight the home fans at Gillette Field.

These same two teams had met, with this same score, in the 2008 Section III Class AA championship game. But the Bees prevailed there, and went on to reach the state final four.

This was the first meeting since that final, with CNS having far more players back than B'ville, who saw 13 seniors depart.

Yet even with different personnel, the Bees remained a dangerous opponent, as it showed by playing the Northstars on fairly even terms through a 0-0 first half where neither side got a lot of scoring opportunities.

For its part, the Northstars' back line, including Alex D'Alfonso, Alex Wilson and Michael Kuss, easily handled whatever the Bees threw at them, that trend continuing into the second half. Dan DeBottis, back from a concussion that kept him out for much of 2008, made seven saves.

Slowly, the Northstars picked up its attack, and in the second half had all kinds of near-misses. Twice, Logan Roberts saw great shots turned away with spectacular stops from B'ville goalie Alex Bono, and both Cooper and Gino Corasaniti got stymied in good runs to the net. Bono finished with 11 saves on the night.

But on the brink of overtime, CNS got the winning goal. Just 1:24 was left in regulation when, working from the left side, Miles Crouse lofted a cross to the middle, where Cooper headed it past Bono into the right side of the net.

This was the first of two regular-season meetings, with CNS visiting Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium for a rematch on Sept. 24 - a mere 15 days from now.

In the more immediate future, though, is the CNS Optimist Tournament, to be played at Gillette Friday and Saturday.

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