Oct 30, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Only on rare occasions in Tuesday night’s Section III Class AA girls soccer semifinal at Chittenango High School did top-seeded Cicero-North Syracuse find the precise rhythms needed to make its attack blossom against no. 4 seed Fayetteville-Manlius.
But when it did, the results were stunning, as Reid Garner’s pair of goals pushed the Northstars past the Hornets 2-0.
And it leads C-NS (15-2-1) to SUNY-Cortland Friday night for the sectional title game against no. 3 seed Baldwinsville (11-3-2), who blanked no. 2 seed Christian Brothers Academy by that same 2-0 margin in the other AA semifnial. Game time is at 6 p.m.
When the Northstars last saw F-M back on Sept. 21, it ended in a 0-0 draw amid wild, windy conditions. In the month since, the Hornets had improved plenty and, in the AA quarterfinals on Oct. 24, had knocked out two-time defending champion Liverpool 1-0 despite missing top scoring threat Alexis Muraco with a back injury.
Muraco was still out for this game, too, and during the early stages C-NS’s defenders deftly broke up the Hornets’ attacks, while F-M played solid defense, too, quickly recovering whenever the likes of Ariah Rosas or Stephanie Liberati made long runs.
The Hornets could do nothing, though, about what happened in the 27th minute. From the defensive side, Rosas picked off the ball and delivered a pass to Liberati, who streaked toward the net and, in mid-stride, found Garner, whose low shot sped right between the legs of F-M goalie Alex Lunderman and into the net.
On the other side, C-NS goalie Alyssa Jim made her best stop two minutes later, coming well out of the net to stop Sarah Olick-Sutphen’s run before she could shoot. She also caught Emily Murray’s 20-yard free kick right before halftime to preserve the Northstars’ 1-0 edge.
Early in the second half, the Hornets continued to attack, but C-NS’s defenders, led by Chloe Lonergan, Mary Kate Ordway, Meghan Duffy and Sam Foley, broke up most of the chances before they got to Jim, who finished with seven saves.
With 14:20 left, Garner offered the insurance goal, pouncing on a Rosas shot that caromed off the crossbar and, from 20 yards out, firing it into the left side of the net. F-M never got close from that point forward.
When C-NS and B’ville square off, it will look to atone for a 3-2 defeat to the Bees back on Sept. 18. And it’s a match-up of young teams – the Northstars have just three seniors on its roster, B’ville just one.
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