An exciting Saturday of action saw Baldwinsville's boys soccer and girls volleyball teams both inch within one victory of their respective state Class AA championships, which would be a first title for either program.
In a dramatic AA boys soccer semifinal at Middletown High School, the Bees prevailed, 2-1, over Section VI (Buffalo area) champion Clarence when Adam Lauko scored halfway through the second overtime.
B'ville will face Brentwood (who beat Scarsdale 1-0 in the other semifinal) in Sunday's championship game at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, at Glens Falls Civic Center, the girls volleyball Bees finished first in a four-team round-robin that advanced both B'ville and Webster Schroeder (Section V, Rochester area) to Sunday's championship match.
Though the boys soccer team, winners of four consecutive Section III championships, had made one previous trip to the state Class AA final four, it hadn't advanced to the championship game prior to its encounter with Clarence.
Much of the first half was quiet - but the Bees inched ahead less than four minutes before the break, 1-0, as Ben Ramin pounced on the rebound of Mike Guardino's shot and converted.
With the Bees' defense in top form, it looked like the one-goal margin would hold up. Yet with 7:46 to play in regulation, the Red Devils tied it under wild circumstances.
It appeared that goalie Andrew Coughlin had gained control of the ball - but Clarence ripped it out of Coughlin's grasp, and Anthony Colarco knocked it in the net to tie it 1-1.
Despite intense play, it would stay even, through the rest of the second half and the first of two 15-minute, sudden-victory overtime periods. Coughlin made the game's biggest stop in that first OT when he got a hand on Derek Maier's shot and deflected it over the net.
B'ville attacked again in the second OT. With 8:16 left (before it would revert to penalty kicks), Lauko, working a give-and-go with Guardino, burst free and, from 20 yards out, ripped a shot into the net to send the Bees to the finals.