Manlius Sure, it’s early in the proceedings. But once again the Baldwinsville girls soccer team is offering up a daunting combination of explosive goal-scoring ability and a tendency to shut an opponent down.
Going to Fayetteville-Manlius Monday night for its first encounter with the Hornets since last year’s Section III Class AA final, the Bees had every phase of its game in fine form during a 2-0 shutout of the Hornets.
Thanks to the new $1.35 million, privately-funded artificial turf field installed this summer at the high school stadium, F-M no longer exclusively plays home games at the Swan Pond in the Village of Manlius.
However, B’ville is more accustomed to these types of fields, thanks to all the post-season games it has played in recent years.
And it spent the first half showing off that advantage in a series of attacks against a Hornets side also a bit spent from playing its fifth game in 10 days - though it was also B'ville's third game in four days after its sweep of Mercy and John Jay-East Fishkill in its own Kickoff Classic.
Less than 11 minutes into the contest, Emma Firenze broke free up the middle and, in full stride, took a perfect pass from Lily VanDeValk and slid a low shot past F-M goalie Nina Quigley.
Late in the first half, B’ville earned a free kick. From 40 yards out, Sarah Lindovski launched a strike to the crowded middle in front of the net, where Firenze directed a header into the net.
Now B’ville protected that two-goal lead. Lindovski, along with fellow defenders Emma Jeffrey, Morgan Marshall and Jada Sergeant, broke up most of F-M’s attacks long before they reached the net.
Goalies Maggie Monnat (first half) and Steph Lynch (second half) handled their chances, too, especially when Lynch dove back to make a big stop after getting out of position early in the second half. That proved to be F-M’s best chance.