Sep 14, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
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.
Quigley could not stop the penalty shot, but still finished with five saves and allowed nothing more. And so it was even when Olick-Sutphen chased down Hall’s near-miss and converted, concluding a big week on her part.
Against Liverpool, F-M struck early, landing both of its goals in the first half as Olick-Sutphen and Alexa Restante put in the goals, with Hall and Alexis Muraco earning assists.
From that 2-0 halftime edge, the Hornets had to hang on. Ore Akinpelu scored to pull the Warriors within on. But F-M defenders Katie Randall, Jessica Puro and Alessandra Armstrong kept Liverpool from converting again, and Quigley recorded eight saves.
In stark contrast to the F-M’s girls and its potential breakthrough, the boys soccer Hornets found itself with reason to be concerned in the wake of last Thursday night’s 3-2 defeat to Nottingham.
The Hornets’ defense took the early blows as the Bulldogs roared out to a 2-0 lead by halftime. Romeo Kpolo, with one goal and one assist, and Nermin Ajsic, with two assists, led Nottingham as Hassan Musa and Elevedin Hasanovic converted, too.
F-M fought back in the second half, getting on the board as Dante Pavone and Tyler Snow scored, with Aaron Epling and Tyson Tressness earned assists. It wasn’t quite enough, though, as the Bulldogs’ defense withstood the Hornets’ late push to force OT.