Oct 28, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Absent a Section III Class AA title since 2006, the West Genesee girls soccer team pulled itself within two victories of going to the top again, though the challenge facing them is a large one.
Even with a 13-3 regular-season record, the Wildcats found itself with the no. 6 seed, forced to go up north to take on no. 3 seed Watertown in Thursday’s AA quarterfinals.
Despite this, and despite frigid temperatures more suited to December than October, WG turned to its reliable offensive threats and put together a 3-1 victory over the Cyclones.
An active first half saw Jillian VanNorstrand score for Watertown, but the Wildcats still moved ahead 2-1. As its defense, led by Emily Tripodi, Shelby Milne and Cailyn Negus, tightened in the second half and Andrea Francisco ran her save total to eight, WG would pull clear.
Sophomore Melissa Fumano produced two of the Wildcats’ goals, with senior captain Erica Geremia earning the other. Tripodi and Kara Datellas earned assists.
With that win, WG advanced to the AA semifinal against no. 2 seed Liverpool, who bashed Fayetteville-Manlius 6-0 in its quarterfinal and dominated the Wildcats in a 3-0 decision back on Sept. 13.
By contrast, the West Genesee boys soccer team’s season ended in the opening round, the no. 7 seed Wildcats falling to no. 10 seed Nottingham 4-1 last Wednesday night in Camillus.
With the artificial turf field unavailable, WG returned to its natural grass field, made slower by rain and muddy conditions. It looked to avenge a 5-0 defeat to Nottingham back on Sept. 13.
At first, it looked as though the Wildcats would fulfill that quest. Just 4:01 into the game, Syracuse University-bound senior Stefanos Stamoulacatos lofted a 40-yard free kick to the middle, where Jake Sutherland headed it into the net, and WG led 1-0.
Though Nottingham gradually assumed control of the game’s flow, the Wildcats kept that lead for much of the first half. Things turned, though, after Bulldogs goalie Bior Ajok made a diving, point-blank kick save on Sutherland in the 35th minute.
Instead of a two-goal lead, WG found itself tied when, a few minutes later, it fouled Almedin Bektic inside the 18-yard box. Bektic, who had a three-goal hat trick in the September meeting, converted the penalty kick, and it was tied 1-1 at the break.
As the second half wore on, the Bulldogs continued to attack, moving ahead for good in the 57th minute when Emrah Salkic belted a 25-yard shot from the point into the right side of the net.
Just three minutes later, another foul inside the 18-yard box led to another penalty kick that Semir Salkic put home to make it 3-1, and Bektic tacked on an insurance goal with 12 seconds left.