To date, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys soccer team has remained undefeated - and it might be a while before anyone catches up to them.
Faced with one of its biggest scares of the season Monday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, the Hornets used a late goal by Tyler Forbes to pull out a 3-2 victory over Baldwnisville.
That makes the Hornets 7-0, and with no elite opponents on the schedule until Oct. 9 (Cicero-North Syracuse), F-M might be in a prime position to stretch its win streak into double digits.
First, though, the Hornets had to worry about B'ville, winner of the last two Section III Class AA titles. After heavy roster turnover, the Bees had lost twice in 2009, including a 1-0 defeat to Utica Proctor three nights before F-M came to town.
Early on, the Hornets threatened a runaway, constantly making attacks against the B'ville defense. Just 7:08 into the game, freshman Hallie Marr capitalized on a turnover and fired a shot into the right side of the net, with Anthony Restante getting the assist.
If F-M has any weak spot (nine starters are back from 2008), it's the defense, which doesn't have as much game experience as the front line or midfield.
That became apparent in the 20th minute. B'ville had withstood many F-M chances to expand its lead, and when it caught the Hornets flat with a two-on-one break, Adam Lauko scored off a feed from Ben Ramin.
Quickly answering, the Hornets regained the lead, 2-1, in the 27th minute, Tyler Forbes finishing off a long series of passes by converting Mike Kutzer's pass into a goal.
Again, B'ville would fight back. Less than seven minutes into the second half, Casey Murphy passed from the middle to Lauko, whose low shot eluded Ethan Flack, making it a 2-2 tie.
As the pace slowed in the second half, F-M's defense, led by Joe Mahr and Seth Tiplitsky, settled down and did a better job of clearing, which gave the Hornets plenty of time to reclaim control.
With 9:35 left, F-M earned a corner kick. Kutzer's crossing pass flew all the way to the left post, where Forbes hit a perfect header that tucked inside the left post past B'ville goalie Andrew Coughlin for the game-winner.
Up until that CNS game, F-M will be favored against each of its next five opponents - Henninger, West Genesee, Oswego, Nottingham and Auburn.