Camillus Baldwinsville senior forward Emma Firenze powered the Bees past previously undefeated West Genesee, 2-0, Tuesday night in a non-league Class AA girls’ soccer game.
Firenze scored a pair of well taken goals to lift the Bees to 5-1 overall. The Wildcats fell to 4-1.
Firenze notched her goals 11 minutes apart early in the second half. Each was a superbly taken half-volley from an over-the-top pass.
“She’s a top class player,” WG head coach John McCloskey said. “She’s probably the top player in this entire area. We knew coming in that we were going to need to contain her. In stretches we did. But in stretches her abilities took over the game.”
Bees mentor Kathy Morse sees Firenze every day in practice, so little the left-footed standout does surprises her.
“She makes things happen, whether she’s scoring or passing or controlling the field,” Morse said. “She’s a phenomenal player and did a great job for us.”
From the opening kickoff against the Wildcats, Firenze looked dangerous. She forced WG's excellent goalie, Andrea Francisco, into a diving stop just three minutes into the game.
The Bees had a big territorial first half edge, but Francisco was up to it. She made eight saves in the opening 40 minutes, two of the highest quality.
Just after halftime, Francisco was finally beaten. Firenze nicely timed the looping pass and rasped a shot into the corner 1:45 into the half.
Francisco had just as much chance on Firenze’s second goal - none. It came in the 54th minute, and gave B'ville a cushion it would not relinquish.
Francisco finished with 13 saves. Bees goalie Rachel Valenti made three stops, well-protected by a B'ville defense that had surrendered four second-half goals in a loss to Arlington three days earlier.
Morse said she had more to like than just Firenze’s performance.
“I was very happy with my team," she said. "I thought they played well. They did a lot of nice things, a lot of good passes. And we finished when we needed to.”
McCloskey knows his team will have to do better when the teams meet later this season (Oct. 9, to be exact) in a CNY Counties League National division showdown.
“We struggled to keep up with the speed of play the game needed,” he said. “When we attacked we were dangerous, but in general we just defended too much.”