Oct 05, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Much would be learned on Thursday night when the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys soccer teams got together again under the lights at LHS Stadium.
And what was mostly gleamed was that the Northstars are still a factor in the Class AA race, as it scored early and let its defense do the rest of the work to knock off the Warriors 1-0.
For C-NS, it was a chance to pick off a big-name opponent after being unable to do so through the first month of the season and avenge a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool back on Sept. 11.
As for the Warriors, it was a test to see how it could handle adversity. Liverpool had zoomed to a 7-0-1 start and had risen to the no. 3 spot in the state Class AA rankings, appearing to be the favorite to win it all.
But all of that was thrown into question after last Tuesday night’s visit to Baldwinsville, as the five-time reigning AA champions again showed that it could win a big game, overcoming a rough start to beat the Warriors 3-1.
Now it was C-NS’s turn. Perhaps sensing that Liverpool was still trying to recover from what happened at B’ville, the Northstars put on some early pressure, and it paid off when Bryan Sibble, taking a pass from Liam McDonnell, pushed a shot past Warriors goalie Cody Peck.
Finishing with five saves, Peck did not allow anything more, which put the onus on C-NS’s defense, which had to protect a one-goal margin the rest of the night.
The Northstars did so, never letting Liverpool’s front line get much space. All that goalie Charlie Willard had to do was make three saves to get the shutout.
All of this followed the developments at B’ville two nights earlier. Liverpool had first played the Bees on Sept. 8, with the Bees giving up most of the good chances, yet still escaping with a 2-2 draw. Liverpool’s strong play since that point suggested the rematch would go in a different direction.
In the first 20 minutes, 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 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.
While all this was going on, C-NS, gearing up for its own shot at Liverpool, was beating Oswego 2-0 at Gillette Field, getting both of its goals from Tony Barraco in the first half and cruising the rest of the way.
Sibble and Kyle Tracy got credit for assists, and the Northstars may have won by a more lopsided margin were it not for the spectacular work of Buccaneers goalie Ben Harrington, who made 23 saves.