Manlius Maybe this is not the same old Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer team.
The Hornets of seasons past would be exciting to watch, for sure, but would give up just as many big plays as it would produce, inevitably leading to an exit one or two steps short of the Section III Class AA summit.
This F-M version is dead-set on changing that perception, and two big back-to-back home wins - 2-1 over defending Class AA champion Liverpool Tuesday night and 3-2 over Cicero-North Syracuse late Thursday afternoon - have vaulted the Hornets into title consideration.
In the latter of these two contests, F-M and C-NS, who entered the game with its own undefeated (3-0) mark, appeared to be heading into overtime. But with 58.8 seconds left in regulation, Sarah Olick-Sutphen, situated at the left post, picked off Cheyenne Hall's shot just as it was going wide of the net, and slid the ball past Northstars goalie Alyssa Jim to decide it.
So ended a back-and-forth contest that got active early. In fact, just 2:53 into the game F-M had a 1-0 lead, thanks to Hall, who found space in the middle of the field and, from 30 yards out, smashed a shot into the top of the net that Jim had no chance of stopping.
C-NS countered when Stephanie Liberati got past F-M defenders and, on a solo run, beat Nina Quigley in the 16th minute, tying it 1-1. And it nearly went in front late in the half when Katie Wagner's shot clanged off the left post.
So it was still 1-1 when, in the 55th minute, Olick-Sutphen charged in from midfield and put home the go-ahead goal. Again, the Northstars answered, Liberati fouled on a charge inside the 18-yard box in the 62nd minute, leading to Hanna Haven's tying penalty kick.