Oct 25, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Right on cue, the worst weather of the fall arrived in time for the start of the Section III Class AA boys soccer playoffs. But it didn’t keep top seed Cicero-North Syracuse or no. 3 seed Liverpool from easily making their way into next week’s semifinal round.
Going first, the Warriors hosted no. 6 seed Nottingham last Wednesday night, and enduring the rain and cold temperatures, Liverpool knocked out the Bulldogs 3-0.
These same two teams had met twice in the regular season, with the Warriors prevailing both times by margins of 1-0 (on Aug. 31) and 3-0 (on Oct. 7). The third encounter with Nottingham would produce yet another shutout.
Liverpool, no. 19 in the latest state Class AA rankings, gained a 1-0 edge by halftime, but did not find that comfortable enough, tacking on a pair of insurance goals after the break and protecting goalkeeper Cody Peck, who only had to make two saves.
Three different Warriors – Gerardo Ramirez Hanon, Kyle Lombard and Raiss Muya – earned the three goals, with Ramirez Hanon adding an assist. Sam Fuller and Miles Veney also picked up assists.
Then C-NS, possessing the top seed in Class AA, took its turn in the quarterfinals Thursday night at Gillette Field against no. 8 seed Henninger, who had blanked Central Square 2-0 in the opening round two nights earlier.
Supposedly refreshed from a week of rest and recuperation, the Northstars had to battle the elements, and its own nerves, for a large portion of the game before taking over in the second half and eliminating the Black Knights 3-0, the same margin by which C-NS beat Henninger two weeks earlier at Sunnycrest Field.
A combination of high winds, cold temperatures and precipitation slowed things up in the first half, and C-NS, even with the no. 11 state AA ranking, could not get anything on the board as Henninger goalie Jonny Larca made most of his 14 saves.
Early in the second half, though, the Northstars’ Kyle Tracy put in the go-ahead goal, and then Tracy returned to score a second time midway through the half. Just to be sure, C-NS tacked on a third goal from Pete Girardi as Liam McDonnell and Tyler Witek got credit for assists.
And this leads C-NS into the Class AA semifinal Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Nottingham High School against no. 4 seed Fayetteville-Manlius, who knocked out defending champion Utica Proctor 4-1.The Northstars claimed a 2-1 overtime decision over the Hornets in their lone regular-season meeting on Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will take on no. 2 seed Baldwinsville in the other semifinal, also at Nottingham, which starts at 7:15.. The Bees edged past West Genesee 1-0 in its quarterfinal game on Friday, and the Warriors will look to avenge a 3-2 overtime to B’ville back on Sept. 14.