Even as it built a five-match win streak and went to no. 8 in the first state Class AA rankings of the fall, the Baldwinsville girls soccer team had to face some adjustments to its roster.
A combination of injuries (including one that sidelined Maddie Bush) and illness meant that all but one defensive starter was out when the Bees faced Cicero-North Syracuse Tuesday night at Archie Hall Stadium.
And it turned into a nervous affair, the Bees falling behind, making a mid-game turnaround helped by some good fortune, and then hanging on to beat the Northstars 2-1.
From the outset, C-NS offered plenty of threats, and in one instance got the ball behind goalie Jenna Boutilier, requiring defender Leah Burrer to make a timely save near the line.
Midway through the first half, Ashlyn Slate, taking a pass from Morgan Siechen, ripped a right-footed shot into the top left corner of the net to give the Northstars a 1-0 lead.
Siechen nearly scored again nine minutes later, her shot banging off the crossbar, and C-NS, by inches, missed a great chance at a two-goal margin.
Instead, with 2:40 left in the half, a handball inside its own 18-yard box gave B’ville a penalty kick that Kelsey Delola converted. Then, 41 seconds into the second half, Hannah Mimas made a long sprint, worked around a defender and hit a low shot past Olivia Haven.
C-NS’s defense settled down from there and was quite effective in denying the Bees other opportunities. And it picked up the pressure late, its best chance coming with 8:20 to play on a free kick by Siechen that Boutilier grabbed.
Having escaped there, B’ville traveled to Liverpool Thursday for its first encounter with the Warriors since last October’s Section III Class AA final.
Graduation had hit the Liverpool roster hard, though, and it only carried a 2-4 record into this game, where the Bees wasted little time asserting control and didn’t let up until it had pummeled the Warriors 6-0.
It took less than six minutes for Mimas to put B’ville in front, and Simone Neivel scored late in the half. In between, Gillian Gipe gave Bees fans a thrill with a long-distance shot that eluded Megan Merrifield and found the net.
Up 3-0 at the break, B’ville did not let up, having Mimas convert again four minutes into the second half, then seeing Delola score on a second penalty kick in as many games and Neivel get a second goal. McKenna Miller joined Mimas and Delola in the assist column.
Having now won seven in a row, the Bees would get a challenge Tuesday from Fayetteville-Manlius before a Wednesday trip to West Genesee and a Friday game against New Hartford.