Crossing the midway point of their respective regular seasons, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool boys soccer teams knew that a lot of work remained if they wanted to challenge the top Class AA contenders.
With C-NS, the problem all season hasn’t come on the defensive side, where it’s done a solid job containing opponents. It’s arisen on offense, a trend the Northstars partially reversed last Monday night at Henninger, but even that required overtime to prevail 1-0 over the Black Knights.
Both sides had a handful of good opportunities in the 80 minutes of regulation, with C-NS offering strong resistance and holding Henninger to five shots, all stopped by Ethan Doerschuk. It paid off when, in the first OT period, Max Euceda pushed a shot past Black Knights goalie Lubenda Echeni to end it.
C-NS then made it back-to-back wins on Wednesday, prevailing 4-2 at West Genesee in large part due to the breakthrough performance of Carter Jackson, who took over in the late stages and finished with a three-goal hat trick.
Jackson’s tallies, along with a goal from Britton Scorzelli, helped the Northstars get clear after the Wildcats played them to a 1-1 halftime tie. Jack McManus and Griffin Dombroske scored for WG as David Wenner made 10 saves to keep it within range.
Liverpool did not pick the right time to visit Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium last Monday night, where state Class AA no. 9-ranked Baldwinsville was angry and motivated, and it turned into a 5-1 defeat for the Warriors.
In the previous week, B’ville, who had started 6-0, had lost to Fayetteville-Manlius and had C-NS play them to a 0-0 draw. Not wanting any more of this, the Bees attacked from the outset and overwhelmed Liverpool in the first 40 minutes, not letting up until it had a 4-0 lead.
Caleb Munski did score in the second half to prevent a shutout, but the Warriors had far too much to overcome. Four different B’ville players scored, led by Jack Todora, who found the net twice as single goals went to Brandon Mimas, Josh Price and Ryan Downes.
Two nights later, Liverpool turned it around, against Nottingham, shutting out the Bulldogs 3-0 with Justin Lombard helping a second-half getaway. Only up 1-0 at the break, the Warriors saw Lombard earn a pair of goals as Abe Haley also converted, with Ben Root, Jordan Burlingame and Bryce Everts picking up assists.
When Liverpool had its own match with Henninger Friday night, it did not have the same success as C-NS did, falling 2-0 to the Black Knights, Though the Warriors took seven shots, Henninger goalie Lubenda Echeni stopped all of them, and got goals from See Mo Hai and Asani Mauridi.
On Monday night, Liverpool (7-4) and C-NS (5-5-1) met up once more at the Gillette Road complex, with the Warriors going on to trips to West Genesee and Corcoran and the Northstars also taking on Corcoran before a Friday visit from Nottingham.