Chittenango All through this season, the Baldwinsville girls soccer team has learned on the job, a roster possessing just one senior finding out that it has what it takes to do great things - even if it's a bit ahead of schedule.
In Tuesday night's Section III Class AA semifinal at Chittenango High School, the no. 3 seed Bees offered a clinical effort in all phases of the game to put away no. 2 seed Christian Brothers Academy by a 2-0 margin.
With that victory, the Bees (11-3-2) advanced to Friday night's sectional title game at 6 p.m. at SUNY-Cortland against top seed Cicero-North Syracuse (15-2-1), who blanked no. 4 seed Fayetteville-Manlius by that same 2-0 margin in the other AA semifinal.
For many reasons, B'ville will enter that game a confident team. Not only did the Bees beat C-NS 3-2 in their lone regular-season meeting on Sept. 18, it did so before all the pieces of its young roster (just one senior) really started to click.
Fresh off a 3-0 shutout of Auburn in the AA quarterfinals on Oct. 25, B'ville moved on to face a CBA side that, though 12-4, required overtime to get through its quarterfinal game with Rome Free Academy 3-1.
From the start, the Bees' defense zeroed in on the Brothers' most dangerous player, Eva Gordon. That back line, led by Stephanie Roberts, Logan Hornsey, Kylee Scott and Sydney Mangano, made sure that Gordon never got open room whenever she entered the B'ville end of the field.
At the same time, the Bees were getting runs on CBA's defense, who tried, time and again, to catch them in offsides situations. A couple of times, it worked, and late in the first half it remained 0-0, thanks to the work of goalie Lindsey Evans, who had a tremendous kick save on Jade Gentile's point-blank attempt in the 25th minute.