Liverpool midfielder Ben Root (17) gains possession of the ball at the expense of two West Genesee players in last Wednesday’s game, where the Warriors prevailed 3-1 over the Wildcats after an overtime win over Cicero-North Syracuse earlier in the week.
The turn of the calendar from September to October always means that, in high school boys soccer, the stakes are about to change.
Before that, though, Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse met for a second time this season last Monday night at the Gillette Road complex and, just like their first encounter, it would require overtime for the Warriors to prevail, this time by a 1-0 margin.
When they had played nearly three weeks earlier (Sept. 12) at LHS Stadium, it was Arlind Ramadani’s goal that had given Liverpool a 2-1 win. Justin Lombard picked up an assist that time, and would prove important in the rematch, too.
First, though, there was 80 minutes of tense regulation where the two defenses, so familiar with each other’s systems, controlled the game. Each side would get a handful of good opportunities, but they got turned back.
C-NS took more shots, 11, but Warriors goalie Ben White stopped all of them, while Ethan Doerschuk got nine saves in the Northstars’ net. He kept it 0-0 until, with 3:47 left in the first OT period, Lombard broke free and, unassisted fired a shot that eluded Doraschek for the game-winner.
With the win, Liverpool improved to 8-3, while C-NS fell to 5-6-1. The Warriors’ mark continued to improve Wednesday night at West Genesee, where it didn’t wait as long to get on the scoreboard in a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats.
In fact, all of Liverpool’s goals came in the first half as Abe Haley, James Gaffney and Dan Tracy took turns putting shots past WG goalie David Wenner. Caleb Munski and Jake Zona had one assist apiece as the Warriors’ defense shut the Wildcats down after Ryan Washo’s first-half tally.
Also on the road, C-NS took on Corcoran and beat the Cougars by that same 3-1 margin, only here the Northstars had to wait until the second half to put the game away.
Brady Engle led the breakout, not only scoring a goal, but assisting on both of Anthony Esce’s scoring plays. Charles Middleton earned the assist on Engle’s tally.
If C-NS could beat Nottingham Friday night, it would climb back above the .500 mark, but it could only manage a 0-0 draw, its issues on the attack arising again as it had most of the scoring chances, but could not solve Bulldogs goalie Aweys Mukoma, who made 10 saves.
Liverpool, meanwhile, routed Corcoran 7-0, breaking out in a five-goal first half as Aaron Perry led the way, scoring twice for the first time in his varsity career as Jack Pento set his own career mark with three assists. Ben Root had one goal and one assist as Lombard, Haley, Zona and Bryce Everts also scored. Ramadani contributed an assist.
The Northstars and Warriors both take on Baldwinsville this week, with the Bees having just handed state no. 2-ranked Fayetteville-Manlius its first defeat of the season, 3-1 – and those same Hornets would face Liverpool Tuesday night at Swan Pond.