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Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016: Penfield girls rally past Fairport for OT win

   Leading off today: My former Democrat and Chronicle colleague Jeff DiVeronica is too cagey a veteran to fall back on the somewhat accurate but also somewhat predictable sentiment that a two=goal lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer.

   But he could have gotten away with it if he chose to go that route in reporting the Section 5 girls Class AA semifinals played Wednesday. Fairport and Victor dominated the first halves of their games and subsequently squandered two-goal leads.

   Victor regained its bearings and went on to score twice in the closing minutes to beat 17th-ranked Webster Schroeder 4-2. But eighth-ranked Fairport was stunned by Penfield 3-2 in double overtime as senior Lauren Faillace connected in the 97th minute for her first goal of the season.

   Junior forward Alex Farrance had scored the tying goal -- just her second of the season -- from 31 yards into the upper right corner with 15:34 left in regulation.

   Boys soccer: Averill Park avenged a 5-1 loss to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in mid-October by defeating the defending state semifinalists 1-0 in the Section 2 Class A semifinals. Conor Willsie scored midway through the second half to advance AP to the championship game against Queensbury.

   In Section 3 Class B, a first-half goal by Burke Regan held up as the only score and Cazenovia ousted No. 9 South Jefferson 1-0. Goalie Thomas Bragg made three saves in the win.

   Football schedule: Week 9 of the season (i.e., the sectional semifinals for most of the state) gives us quite a few confrontations between ranked teams.

   A couple of good ones in particular:

    • Class AA's best game is a PSAL regular-season clash between No. 4 Erasmus Hall and No. 10 Curtis from Staten Island.

    • In Class A, the Section 1 semifinals pair No. 6 Brewster and No. 8 Somers.

    • In Class C, the Section 5 semis pair No. 6 East Rochester/Gananda and No. 8 Bath.

    • In Class D, No. 4 Red Jacket will be looking to avenge a lopsided regular-season loss to No. 2 Clyde-Savannah.

   More football: Fort Edward's 47-12 win over Cairo-Durham last weekend was its first on the field since the 2012 season finale.

   Tyshaun Canty (six carries, 118 yards) and Ian Simpson combined for six touchdowns for the Flying Forts to snap a 16-game losing streak. Fort Edward did not field a varsity team in 2015.

   Following up: I ranted/opined a few days ago about the need for newspaper-based media companies to innovate and evolve.

   In the time since, Gannett (which has five mid-sized to large operations in this state) has opted to fall back on its favorite "fix" by laying off approximately 2 percent of its workforce across the country. Anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that newsrooms felt a disproportionately large percentage of the pain -- not surprising since Gannett had been very focused in the past decade on making other cuts while consolidating back-office operations such as accounting and customer service. Within the various newsrooms (which have already taken major hits over the years) across the country, sports departments seemed to be affected more than others.

   That, of course, leaves fewer bodies to chip in and help report during the busiest times of the year, namely preseason previews and the sectional tournaments.

   But in poking around last night for blog fodder, I was reminded something more than manpower and institutional knowledge get lost when layoffs strike. When reporters go away, so too does some of the paper's "voice" and personality.

   What reminded me of this was a note in Greg Brownell's girls soccer blog for The Post-Star, which I regret not

  

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  • mentioning the other day as a good example of mixing nuts-and-bolts game reporting in stories with observations and opinions in blogs.

       The purpose of Brownell's blog was to follow up on a game between two local schools, but he squeezed in a mention of play being stopped briefly because a dog ran onto the field.

       "This was no ordinary dog incursion," he wrote. "The big mutt that raced onto the field ... seemed very much interested in joining the game. He didn't leave willingly. I could see this dog becoming a pesky midfielder. You'd definitely want him in the box on your corner kicks.

       "Anyway, the officials correctly stopped play, as the dog had entered the field in on offside position."

       The bean counters would do well to remember that its the little stuff interspersed with hard news that keeps the readers coming back.

       Progress, Part 1: I can just feel it. We're getting closer -- not necessarily close, but certainly closer -- to one of my dreams: Fencing as a varsity sport in Section 5.

       A note on the Our Lady of Mercy website is promoting a six-week class being offered beginning Nov. 8 at Rochester Fencing Club, which is owned by U.S. Olympians Felicia and Iris Zimmermann.

       Fencing already has a foothold in New York City and at approximately 30 downstate NYSPHSAA schools but hasn't extended beyond that. With the history of RFC, which started as Rochester Fencing Centre and became a major U.S. and international training hub for awhile two decades ago, the Rochester area is a logical place to grow.

       Progress, Part 2: We're on the eve of state-championship competition in a variety of sports, which means it's time to switch over to playoff mode on the website. So, links to brackets and other playoff info as it arrives will stay anchored at the top of this column for the next few weeks.


      
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