Just when it seemed that the Liverpool girls soccer team was poised to take the front-runner role during its Section III Class AA title defense, the order changed again.
That came due to Fayetteville-Manlius, who in last Tuesday night’s game constantly threaded its way through the Warriors’ normally stout defenses, doing so enough to knock off Liverpool by a score of 4-3.
When these teams first met on Sept. 13 at LHS Stadium, it was Liverpool prevailing 2-1. Entering the rematch, F-M only had a 5-6 record, but the memory of its previous close call provided some confidence, and even a Warriors goal in the first five minutes didn’t sway those feelings.
Instead, Rachel Dobricki put in a goal in the 17th minute to tie it, 1-1, and barely five minutes later Hannah Knych found the net to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead. Suddenly, Liverpool’s defense was vulnerable, and F-M kept pushing as Dobricki’s goal in the 32nd minute doubled the hosts’ lead.
Even when the Warriors cut the deficit to 3-2, Dobricki answered four minutes later, completing her hat trick. From there, Liverpool settled down and, once more, moved within one, but helped by Sabrina Suriani’s eight saves, the Hornets held on. Carli Kovarik scored twice and Ciara Conklin had her team’s goals.
The loss didn’t have any short-term effects on Liverpool, who swept a pair of weekend games against non-league foes, starting last Friday with a 2-0 shutout of Elmira. Defensively, the Warriors contained the Express and held it to four shots. A single goal in each half proved enough as Bri Kovarik and Emily Dorr earned them.
A day later, Liverpool had a more difficult assignment with Whitesboro, but pulled it out, 2-1, as it overcame Haylee Smith’s first-half goal and moved out in front late. Carli Kovarik netted one goal and assisted on the other, by Lillian Uy, while Bri Kovarik added an assist.
While Liverpool was taking its licks at F-M, Cicero-North Syracuse was home, playing its second consecutive draw against West Genesee, only this time both sides got on the board in a 1-1 decision.
The Sept. 9 meeting in Camillus had ended 0-0 draw, but that changed here as WG went in front thanks to a first-half goal by Emma Nelson, assisted by Haley Elsey.
That 1-0 deficit for the Northstars remained until Kaitlyn Lippert tied it in the second half, and from there neither side could pull in front through the rest of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime. Olivia Haven made 10 saves as Wildcats goalie Liz Croft had 14 saves.
And now that same F-M team that had just beaten Liverpool arrived at Archie Hall Stadium on Thursday night. Looking to avenge a 3-1 defeat to the Hornets two weeks earlier, C-NS could not do so, this time falling by a 2-0 margin.
It wasn’t like the Northstars lacked real opportunities. In fact, it took 10 shots, but none of them got past Suriani, and F-M fed off that defensive effort by getting a single goal in each half – one from Dobricki, the other from Anna Hartzheim.
All of the action this week will culminate in Liverpool’s rematch with Baldwinsville Saturday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium. The Warriors beat the Bees 2-1 on Sept. 26, and the rematch might have a lot to do with both the league title and how the sectional playoff pairings will look.