Girls soccer Bees smash Bethlehem, go to state semis

Leaving little in the way of doubt, the Baldwinsville girls soccer team easily secured its second visit to the state Class AA final four in three years.

To get there this time, the Bees had to conquer Section II Bethlehem in the AA regional finals Saturday at Fulton - which it did with a first-half offensive surge that the Eagles could not match, leading to a 3-0 victory.

Though the game was an evenly contested battle, with both teams playing all-out, the difference in the game was a series of quick goals by B'ville in the first half, all in a span of 16 minutes, to secure regional honors.

The Bees, 18-1 coming into the game, got out early and attacked the entire first half, although they didn't score a goal until close to the midway point of the first half. With 20:25 remaining in the half, Angelica Romeu received a pass and found herself behind the Bethlehem defense on the right side of the field. Seeing a clear path to the goal, Romeu fired away and knocked in a sharp shot, giving the Bees a 1-0 lead.

Just eight minutes later, the Bees were right back at it as the ball was consistently in Bethlehem's end of the field. An array of passing led to another goal for the Bees as Erin Ward scorched the ball into the net to extend Bville's lead to 2-0.

And eight minutes after that, with 4:43 to play in the half, B'ville found itself with another great scoring opportunity. Emma Firenze, who had the winning goals in each of the Bees' two previous playoff wins, took the pass and moved up field before firing a rocket toward the net. The kick sailed in, which gave B'ville the margin it would hold the rest of the afternoon.

Bethlehem came out aggressively in the second half in an attempt to rally. But Bville's defense also turned up the intensity and, led by Sarah Lindovski and Alexis Czyz, did a good job of keeping Bethlehem out of its end of the field to preserve the shutout.

B'ville moves to 19-1 on the season and will play next Friday against Long Island champion Massapequa in Friday's state Class AA semifinals at SUNY-Cortland. The championship game is on that same Cortland campus next Saturday at 1 p.m., with the B'ville-Massapequa winner getting North Rockland or Webster Thomas.

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