Eight long years since it last won an outright Section III championship, the Liverpool girls soccer team might be poised to put that drought behind them.
In the time since that last Warrior title, Cicero-North Syracuse is one of the programs that stepped up and claimed its share of glory, with two sectional titles (both won at Liverpool's expense) and, in 2007, nearly a state Class AA championship.
All this served as backdrop as the two neighbors and rivals got together last Tuesday night at Archie Hall Stadium, with Liverpool getting a goal late in regulation to beat CNS 1-0.
Both teams come into this season hungry, having lost dramatic Class AA semifinals last fall -- Liverpool to Baldwinsville, CNS to Christian Brothers Academy. Neither side wants to be in such a position again.
With nearly its entire starting lineup back, Liverpool gave CNS plenty to deal with on the defensive side, holding the Northstars to five shots on the net, all scooped up by veteran goalkeeper Noel Peck.
CNS, of course, had its own star in the net in senior Chelsea Dunay, and she came up with seven saves in the face of constant Liverpool pressure.
In the 50th minute, though, the Warriors broke through. Nicki Carfi, off a pass from Aimee Calluwe, found her way around Dunay and took a shot. Though a defender stopped it, Samantha Liadka poked home the rebound.
Thanks to a senior-heavy defense featuring Erika Salem, Ally Muehelmann, Megan Murphy and Marlee Heintz, Liverpool maintained that one-goal edge. Liverpool will meet CNS again on Oct. 22, the regular-season finale for both teams.