Lakers snatch first-ever field hockey sectional title

Quickly, Cazenovia went out in front when, 6:39 into the game, a long shot from the point rebounded to Rebecca DeMario, standing just to the left of the net, and DeMario poked it into the net.

Gradually, the Golden Knights began to attack more. That would pay off when, late in the half, Lindsey Jester's slap shot off a penalty corner slammed in, tying it at 1-1, where it stayed until halftime.

Much of the second half belonged to HP. It attacked in waves, as the Lakers found it difficult to clear the ball out of its own end. Still, defenders Breanna Smith, Lauren Colligan, Kate Webber and Dena Beacham kept the game even.

With 8:28 left, though, Nichole Quigley deflected Jester's shot from the point past Margaux Hoagland, putting the Golden Knights up 2-1. Without establishing some kind of attack before the end, the Lakers looked bound to come up short again.

With 2:20 left, Scheftic called a time-out, and had simple instructions for her players.

"I told them to settle down, then take a deep breath, then concentrate and play our game," the coach said.

Refreshed, Cazenovia bore down on HP's net, drawing enough chances to draw out the clock and set up one last, make-or-break penalty corner.

What followed will be talked about for a long time. A series of pitch-perfect passes set up Purdy for one last shot. She swung -- and it found the net as time expired.

"I was just hoping that it would go in," said Purdy. "When it did, I was just screaming. It was such a big rush."

Giddy with excitement after snatching victory away from HP, the Cazenovia players charged back to the sidelines to get the instructions for the seven-on-seven overtime session, and got more timely words from their coach.

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