Nov 05, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Sisters in real life and teammates on the field, Jackie and Emma Firenze drove the Baldwinsville girls soccer team to its second Section III Class AA championship in three years.
Jackie, a junior, and Emma, a sophomore, accounted for all of the Bees’ goals in a 3-1 victory over Fayetteville-Manlius in the AA finals Friday night at SUNY-Cortland, a game that was in real doubt until the final minutes.
F-M was back in the sectional final for the second year in a row (having lost to CBA in the 2009 title game), and was trying to earn some payback for that, plus a 2-0 defeat to the Bees on Oct. 14 where Jackie Firenze had one of the goals.
It was the Hornets getting most of the chances in the early stages, its front line going on a series of solo runs and finding some gaps in the B’ville defense. Before the game hit the five-minute mark, Allison Baynes had an open look and Claire Monnat down on the ground, but shot it over the net. Monnat made a good stop at the nine-minute mark, too.
Gradually, B’ville began to build its own attack, Jackie Firenze getting a shot just over the net in the 20th minute and Angelica Romeu unable to get the ball past Nina Quigley on a close-up look five minutes later. Each side ran back and forth, the opportunities constant as the defenses had to stay alert.
Then, less than four minutes before halftime, Lily VanDevalk made a crisp low pass from the left corner that Jackie Firenze, with a side-winding shot, put past Quigley into the net, giving B’ville a 1-0 lead that held until the break.
As the second half started, the Bees could not add to its margin, despite a handful of opportunities. And F-M kept attacking until the 56th minute, when Allison Baynes threw a well-timed pass to a streaking Brenna Kincaid, whose low shot zoomed past Steph Lynch into the net to tie it, 1-1.
Unfazed by this, B’ville resumed its push – and turned to its talented sister act to offer the game’s decisive blows.
Just six minutes after Kincaid tied it, Emma Firenze, who hit the overtime goal to beat Liverpool 1-0 in the AA semifinals earlier this week, crushed a 25-yard shot into the net, putting the Bees in front for good. And with 12:06 left, on a free kick from 35 yards out, Jackie Firenze returned to offer a low, hard-spinning shot that slipped out of Quigley’s hands and past the goal line to clinch it.
B’ville will now advance to play the Section II (Albany area) champions in next Saturday’s Class AA regional finals. The winner of that game returns to the Cortland/Homer area for the Nov. 19-20 state final four.