Naturally, the Morrisville-Eaton field hockey team wanted to parlay its Section III Class D championship into a deep state playoff run so it could play at Alliance Bank Stadium this weekend.
However, the Warriors would not get that far.
In the Class C/D state qualifier last Tuesday night at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, M-E suffered a 2-1 loss to Mount Markham.
Playing on the same field where it beat Little Falls in overtime in the Class D final five days earlier, the young Warriors saw a reversal of that game, this time seizing the lead and watching the Mustangs rally.
Both teams started slowly, but M-E gradually built up its attack. Then, midway through the first half, junior Chelsesa Verne took a pass from Lanae Maclag and slung the shot past Mount Markham goalie Grace Riker.
Feeling urgent, the Mustangs began to mount its own charge, which paid off when Kelsey Merritt got the tying goal 3:48 before halftime, poking in a shot fed in there by Janine Lewis.
In the second half, M-E came out with purpose, and had Mount Markham in trouble. Just 2:40 into the period, Riker, trying to clear the ball out of her crease, fell on it -- an automatic penalty stroke.
With a golden chance to retake the lead, Megan Jones got the shot. The M-E senior fired hard to the left side of the net -- and Jones, leaping, made the stop.
This spectacular stop gave Mount Markham all the momentum it would need. Instead of trailing, it pushed forward, eventually putting the Warriors in a long and trying series of penalty corners.
Four times, M-E stopped them, but on the fifth try, with 15:22 left, Meghan Milewski, off feeds from Lewis and Erin Murphy, beat Warrior goalie Danica Mosher.
That would hold up the rest of the way, as M-E's season concluded with a mark of 11-6-1. Just four seniors, including Jones, will graduate, giving head coach Patti Vaughan a full and talented cast for 2007 that will aim for a 12th sectional championship.