M-E rallies for 11th sectional field hockey title

Already one of the established field hockey dynasties in Central New York, the Morrisville-Eaton Warriors added another chapter to its lore.

Thanks to a pulse-pounding comeback in last Thursday night's Section III Class D final at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, M-E defeated Little Falls, 2-1, and won its 11th sectional title.

Now the Warriors, who beat Weedsport 2-1 in the Class D title game a year ago, sit just one championship behind Cooperstown (12) among all Section III schools. Patti Vaughan has been the head coach for all 11 title teams.

None of this appeared to matter in the first half, when Little Falls totally dominated the flow of play, keeping the Warriors in a constant defensive mode.

The Mounties broke through when, midway through the half, Leandra Zalklukiewicz scored off a feed from Megan Miller in a penalty-corner situation.

Throughout regulation, Little Falls kept threatening, eventually earning nine penalty corners, but that single goal was all it could manage.

M-E hung in there and waited for an opportunity to answer. It came in the second half, when Erin O'Hara fed it to Courtney Edwards -- and Edwards put the shot home to tie the game.

It remained 1-1 through the end of regulation, setting up overtime, where teams play seven-on-seven, the fewer players on the field designed to create opportunities.

And M-E would capitalize on that space, setting up a breakaway early in OT. Lanae Maciag took it to the net, and fired it past goalie Kim Steiner to give the Warriors the championship.

M-E will meet Class C champion Mount Markham Tuesday night, also at CNS, to see who would advance to the regional finals Saturday at Rome Free Academy Stadium.

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