Oct 03, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just three minutes of game time – that’s all it took for the Baldwinsville boys soccer team to, once again, state its case that a sixth straight Section III Class AA title is still possible.
A stunning turnaround in the middle of the first half transformed the Bees’ game against Liverpool Tuesday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, leading to a 3-1 victory over the Warriors.
Since B’ville and Liverpool had played to a 2-2 draw on Sept. 8 at LHS Stadium, the Warriors had reeled off five consecutive victories, improving its record to 7-0-1 and rising to the no. 3 spot in the state Class AA rankings.
Meanwhile, the Bees, no. 16 in that same state AA poll, had mostly rested, playing only once in two weeks (two games were postponed) before beating Jamesville-DeWitt 4-0 last Saturday afternoon. It gave coach Tim Scheemaker and his staff time to work on every possible issue B’ville had faced on its way to a 6-1-1 start.
Little of that work seemed to show, though, in the first 20 minutes against Liverpool. The Warriors sped right through B’ville’s defenses and created lots of opportunities, and moved ahead 1-0 in the 11th minute when Joe Sheehan, off a feed from the left side by Nick Zingaro, dribbled around goalie Chris Spaulding and put it into the net.
Nothing seemed to be happening for the Bees until the 23rd minute, when a rare rush forced a corner kick. Sean Stewart delivered a perfect cross to the middle, and fellow defender James Goodridge headed it past Warriors goalie Cody Peck for his first-ever varsity goal.
That single play seemed to breathe life into B’ville, on both ends. Less than three minutes later, the Warriors could not clear it out, and Jake Gentile passed to the middle, where Nick Gates pushed it home for the go-ahead goal.
Now fully energized, the Bees’ defense did an effective job cracking down on Liverpool’s potent attack for the rest of the game, rarely giving them space, doing an especially effective job on Leo Rubio, who rarely had open looks.
B’ville tacked on an insurance goal in the 52nd minute that required near-perfect execution. Stewart, from his own end, delivered a 50-yard pass to the right side. Gentile ran under the ball and, when Peck ran out to challenge him, in one motion delivered a perfect touch shot into the abandoned net.
The Bees would get little time to relax, though, because on Friday night it visits Fayetteville-Manlius in a rematch of last November’s Class AA final.