Now that the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse girls soccer teams make annual championship runs, every meeting between the long-time rivals gains extra importance.
So it was again on Wednesday night, when the Warriors and Northstars met on the new LHS turf field. And it was Liverpool coming out on top, leading from start to finish in a 3-1 decision.
In the first month of the regular season, both Liverpool and CNS had distinguished themselves through solid all-around games and attacks that could strike at any moment.
No doubt, it helped the Warriors that, on this night, it was playing on the brand-new LHS turf field, with which it had become quite familiar, while it took a bit longer for the Northstars to get used to the faster surface.
And by the time it did, Liverpool had a 2-0 lead. The Warriors carefully built up pressure until, in the 25th minute, Kim Murphy fired a cross from the left side that Alexis Kline pushed into the net with her body.
Eight minutes later, the Warriors doubled the margin when Kayla Whalen found space in the middle and, from 20 yards out, ripped a straight shot home.
Liverpool's control briefly subsided when, just 7.1 seconds before halftime, Rachel Bowles took a long pass from the right, ran up the middle past the Warrior defenders and beat Tori Corsaro, cutting the margin to 2-1 at the break.
That didn't rattle the Warriors, though, as it resumed its attack in the second half, staying patient. It paid off in the 63rd minute when, off a series of good passes, Kline passed from the right side and Nikki Carfi flung it past Miranda Tanner into the left side of the net.
CNS arrived at Liverpool in the midst of its toughest stretch of the season, which included three road tests in six days.