Though it has proven a wild and uneven ride at times, both of the Fayetteville-Manlius soccer teams are right back in familiar territory as the Section III Class AA playoffs start later this week.
The boys Hornets completed a 12-4 regular season by venturing to Auburn last Wednesday night and putting together a big first half as it earned a 5-0 victory over the Maroons.
During those first 40 minutes, F-M not only attacked, it converted, not letting up until it had gained a 4-0 edge, something Auburn could not match.
Tysen Tresness, Connor Treglia, Dante Pavone, Joe Amato and Chris Wang each put in a goal, with Tyler Snow contributing an assist. Ben Obrist, playing in goal, only had to make three saves for the shutout.
As for the F-M girls side, who also played Auburn (but was at home) last Wednesday night, it got a lot of confidence from its performance against the Maroons as it used steady, relentless production to prevail in its own shutout by a 4-0 margin.
This night marked the debut of the new scoreboard at the F-M turf field, installed early last week, but it got little use for much of the first half as Auburn kept the Hornets from finding the net.
But then the Hornets scored with seven minutes left in the first half, and tacked on another goal 11 seconds before the break to extend the margin to 2-0. Harmed by this, the Maroons went on to surrender two more goals in the second half.
Four different players – Emily Murray, Jamison Seabury, Sarah Olick-Sutphen and Ani Villaba – scored for F-M (8-5-3), with Alexa Restante and Rachel Dise picking up assists. Alex Lunderman stopped all four shots she faced, with Auburn goalie Ally Nicolisi recording 12 saves.
Though it drew the no. 4 seed for the Class AA sectional tournament, F-M gets a brutal test in the quarterfinals Thursday night at 6:30 when it hosts two-time defending champion Liverpool, who drew the no. 5 seed. The Warriors, of course, beat the Hornets in last year’s sectional final.
A day before that, F-M’s boys team, also a no. 4 seed, hosts no. 5 seed and defending champion Utica Proctor in its AA quarterfinal – but will play it at its old home field at Swan Pond.