Baldwinsville senior forward Cassidy Bruen (1) battles for the ball with Fayetteville-Manlius’ Alexa Restante (2) in last Tuesday night’s Class AA semifinal. Though Bruen converted a penalty kick in the decisive shoot-out after a 1-1 draw, the Bees still fell to the Hornets.
Poised with the top seed in the Section III Class AA playoffs, the Baldwinsville girls soccer team’s intention was to reclaim the title it earned in 2010.
Instead, the Bees saw that dream dissipate in the semifinal round at Nottingham High School at the expense of the no. 4 seed – which was exactly what took place a year ago.
Only this time, it wasn’t done in regulation, and it wasn’t CBA on the other end. It was Fayetteville-Manlius who, despite playing on its side of the field most of the way, managed to get Tuesday’s AA semifinal into a shoot-out at 1-1, and then pulled it out 6-5 in penalty kicks.
This was the same Hornets side B’ville had beaten twice in the regular season, by 2-1 and 3-2 margins. Immediately, though, F-M signaled its intentions to turn things around.
Just 3:05 into the game, F-M attacked from the left side. Cheyenne Hall’s shots caromed off the left post to Alexis Muraco, who also hit the post – but Alexa Restante chased down that rebound and flicked it past Jaclyn Hingre into the net.
Not even nine minutes later, the Bees were even as Taryn Guinta charged in, got around the Bees’ final defenders and beat Nina Quigley, making it 1-1. And that’s where it would stay for the rest of regulation, plus four overtime periods.
For the most part, B’ville controlled the flow of play, rarely letting the Hornets get too close, although a possible own goal in the 53rd minute got negated when F-M was offsides.
The Bees had all kinds of opportunities to move out in front, both in regulation and OT. Emma Firenze, often double and triple-teamed, wove around defenders and had looks, none better than at the end of the second OT when her possible winning shot veered wide.