Nov 05, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
For the third time in four years, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer team had a chance to break the Section III Class AA title drought that stretched back to 1996.
But just as in 2009 (to CBA) and 2010 (to Baldwinsville), the Hornets were denied, this time by Liverpool, who fought past the Hornets 1-0 in Saturday night’s title game at Chittenango High School.
Kyla Bills scored the game winner in the 14th minute, and the no. 2 seed Warriors’ defense did the rest, earning a date in the reigonal finals next Saturday at 5:30 at Fulton against one of two Section II powers, state no. 1-ranked Niskayuna or Bethlehem.
Bills’ tally came from a Warriors corner. Alyssa Bittel took the kick, and Emma Geyer headed it into the F-M six yard box. The Hornets’ clearance went right to Bills who slammed the ball home at 13:48.
Instead of Liverpool building on its lead, it was almost one way traffic the other way. F-M created several clear-cut chances, but converted none in the opening 40 minutes.
Both coaches knew who had the better of play after Bills’ goal.
“It thought we were very fortunate in the first half to get out of there up 1-0,” Liverpool coach Kevin McGrane said. “I don’t think we played our best soccer in the first half. The easily could have put two in on us. The good news is we were up 1-0. The bad news is we didn’t play very well.”
“I was disappointed in our finishing touch,” F-M coach Kory McMahon said. “We had a lot of opportunities in the first half. And (Liverpool) had the missed clear that bounced right to (Bills).
“That’s the only solid chance they had all game. But they cashed in on it. That’s soccer. We had a lot of breakaway opportunities and we put the ball either wide or right into the keeper’s hands.”
The second half didn’t feature much offense. The Warriors defense saw to that, easily snuffing out each F-M foray over midfield to maintain that one-goal margin.
“In the second half Liverpool did just a lot of long clearing balls so we never had a chance to really progress and get the ball to feet,” McMahon said. “Liverpool did a nice job of keeping it out of harm’s way.”
The Hornets finished 11-4-3, and some big names will graduate, including Nina Quigley, Cheyenne Hall, Jessica Puro, Marri Ryu and Katie Randall, though the likes of Alexis Muraco, Alexa Restante, Frankie Bowyer, Katherine Millet and Emily Murray will be back next fall.
“We’re doing the right things (and) we’re consistent,” he said. “I think one of the things we could work on is physical strength. We’re getting pushed off the ball a lot. We’ve got the ball skills. We’ve got the game strategy. We’ve just got to be a little stronger.”