Both the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse girls soccer teams were looking to climb back to the top of the Section III Class AA heap. And both fell just a couple of steps short.
The no. 4 seed Warriors dragged top seed Baldwinsville into overtime of last Tuesday night's AA semifinals at West Genesee, but lost a 1-0 decision.
As that was going on, the no. 6 seed Northstars, looking for a second victory over no. 7 seed Fayetteville-Manilus at Chittenango High School's turf, saw its defense taken apart in the second-half of a 4-1 loss to the Hornets.
A heated encounter between Liverpool and B'ville was expected. In their two regular-season meetings - on Sept. 17 and Oct. 15 - the Warriors lost narrow 2-1 decisions. From those games, a belief grew that a third encounter might turn out different.
Sure enough, the semifinal turned into a fierce defensive struggle. For 80 minutes of regulation, the Warriors did a sensational job breaking up B'ville's attacks as Aimee Caluwe, Danielle Sheehan, Chelsea Bowers and the rest of the back line kept it 0-0. Tori Corsaro would finish with 10 saves.
Occasionally, the Warriors would have chances to get ahead. In the 23rd minute, it had B'ville goalie Maggie Monnat on the ground, but couldn't put the ball into the open net as B'ville defender Sarah Lindovski kicked it away.
Still, it stayed 0-0 into the 20 required minutes of overtime. Just 2:12 into the extra period, B'ville put together a series of crisp passes. The last of them saw Angelica Romeu give it to Emma Firenze, whose quick shot sailed past Corsaro and into the net.
And the Bees maintained that slim edge through the rest of the OT sessions, withstanding a pair of Liverpool corner kicks in the second extra period.