Working at the same time, and earning the same results, the Fayetteville-Manlius and Christian Brothers Academy boys soccer teams are on their way to facing each other, with a berth in the Section III Class AA finals on the line.
In last Friday night’s AA quarterfinals at its new turf stadium, the no. 1 seed Hornets efficiently wore down no. 8 seed Watertown and pulled away in the second half for a 4-0 shutout of the Cyclones.
Meanwhile, at Alibrandi Stadium the no. 4 seed Brothers put together one of its best all-around efforts of the season, working past no. 5 seed Utica Proctor 4-2.
F-M, possessing both the top seed and the no. 2 state AA ranking, had seen Watertown before, beating the Cyclones 3-1 way back in the season opener on Sept. 6.
Nearly two months later, little had changed, except this time the Hornets kept Watertown off the board. This proved especially important in the first half, as F-M, who still hasn’t trailed in a game all season, could only manage a 1-0 lead.
Then the attack kicked in, scoring three times after the break to relieve the stress. Tyler Forbes and Brendan Murray were the catalysts, each putting in two goals as Carl Weiss and Connor Hennessey earned assists.
While F-M was taking care of Watertown, CBA had to wonder whether its own attack could work against a Utica Proctor side that had faced Class AA teams all season, unlike the Brothers, who mostly play Class A opponents in the OHSL Freedom division.
Diversity would help on this night. CBA edged out to a 2-1 halftime lead, and it performed the same feat in the second half because front-line players made Proctor pay for too much attention on Manny Collins.
Matt Marzocchi and Will Bunn each had one goal and one assist, while Collins and Andrew DePerro also notched goals. Tim Corapi also had an assist as Kevin Bailey recorded six saves.
CBA is familiar with F-M, having played the Hornets tough in a 1-0 decision back on Sept. 23. The stakes are higher here, with the winner to get Baldwinsville or Cicero-North Syracuse in the AA championship game.