Leading off today:
Schalmont, the state's top-ranked girls Class B soccer team, will get its rematch with Voorheesville -- this time with the stakes slightly higher.
Sisters Davia and Julia Rossi combined for the goal to lift the Sabres (19-0) to a 1-0 win over Schuylerville on Thursday. The goal by Davia Rossi, her 17th of the season, same with 3:47 remaining in the first half of the Section 2 semifinal.
Next up is Voorheesville (18-1), which ousted the Sabres in the 2014 semifinals when they were also ranked No. 1 by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Voorheesville used two goals from sophomore striker Rebecca Clair to beat Catholic Central 2-0 in the other semi.
Schalmont scored a 5-3 win in overtime over Voorheesville on Sept. 16.
"(That win vs. Voorheesville) was the most thrilling game of the season," Julia Rossi told The Times Union. "We are all going to be insanely pumped to get in there and take back what was ours last year."
Speaking of rematches: After losing to Bronxville in two championship games and a semifinal in the previous three years, Albertus Magnus cleared its big Section 1 Class B hurdle with a 1-0 win the semifinals.
"I think that as strong of a team we were coming in, Bronxville always had that little edge over us," Albertus Magnus senior Carly Clinton told The Journal News. "This time, we had that edge over them."
Albertus Magnus got the decisive goal from Danielle LaRochelle in the 50th minute to eliminate the defending NYSPHSAA champions.
Albertus Magnus will take on undefeated Irvington in the final Saturday.
Boys soccer: Baldwinsville avenged two regular-season losses to Liverpool and stunned the Warriors, ranked sixth in the state, 2-1 in overtime in the Section 3 semifinals.
With the prospect of penalty kicks looming, Mike Brussel broke open and scored with five minutes to go in the second overtime to advance the Bees. They'll play Cicero-North Syracuse in a bid for their seventh trophy in nine years.
C-NS knocked off No. 9 Syracuse Nottingham 1-0 in the other semifinal.
Speaking of soccer: U.S. Soccer announced this month that its controversial academy system will expand next fall to include the under-12 age group. The Journal News noted this week. The program's requirement that players not participate in school sports, it all but assures that many of the nation's best seventh-graders beginning in 2016 might never represent their junior high let alone play for the varsity.
"We are very excited to expand and introduce the Academy structure and philosophy to the U-12 age group when players are in their peak learning years," U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Tab Ramos told ussoccerda.com. "That age represents a critical stage in a player's growth, and this move represents another important step in our expanded efforts to improve elite player development."
The academy system made its debut with the U-15s and U-18s in 2012. The U-13s and U-14s were added the following year. According to U.S. Soccer, there are 88 clubs across the country with U-13/14 academy teams and 79 with teams at the older age levels.
"It certainly affects high soccer when a number of the top players in the area cannot represent their high school teams," Tappan Zee coach Jon Jacobs, who also coaches academy players, told the paper. "At Tappan Zee, we had one of our top young players opt to participate in the academy program ... this fall. On one hand, I would have loved to have had this player play this year in my program, but on the other, I do understand the opportunities that lie ahead when you play in the academy."
Good sports: A bus carrying members of the Victor marching band was involved in an accident Saturday en route to Central Square for a field band competition. A Jeep struck the bus head-on and six students were injured and taken to the hospital. All but one have been cleared to compete at the New York State Field Band Conference championships on Sunday, Band Director Eric Everhart told Syracuse.com.
Everhart said the band has received an outpouring of support from other schools. Liverpool marching band members signed an over-sized card and hand-delivered it.