As it celebrated its reclamation of the Section III Class A title on the night of Nov. 5 at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragaman Stadium, the Liverpool field hockey team had every intention of returning to that same turf 11 days later in the state final four.
But the Warriors never got that far.
Instead, in what amounted to a road game during last Saturday's Class A regional final, the Warriors sustained a 2-0 loss to Section II champion Saratoga Springs.
Liverpool had the misfortune of playing this game right in Saratoga, at Skidmore College, amid frigid temperatures that drove most of the fans inside their cars so that they could stay warm and still watch the action.
The Blue Streak, despite its relative home-field advantage, could not exploit that during the first half. Liverpool played sparkling defense as Alyssa Renk, Alyssa Tobias and Michelle Angelo led the back line that protected goalie Mikey Meagher, who made four saves amid 10 penalty corners.
So they went to the break 0-0, but that deadlock did not last for long.
Not even a minute into the second half, Saratoga applied more pressure, and it paid off when Emily Riley flicked a shot past Meagher after a pass from Maggie DeLoria, evoking a loud series of horns from the fans inside their automobiles.
Down a goal, Liverpool tried to break the Blue Streak's hold on the game and managed to force seven penalty corners of its own. But the Warriors could not convert them.
Saratoga then applied the final blow with eight minutes left, off another penalty corner. Great passes by Liz D'Agostino and Gabrielle Borger set up Riley, who notched her second goal to clinch the outcome.
As Saratoga moves on to face defending state champion Lakeland-Panas in the state semifinals Friday night at CNS, Liverpool faces the end of its season, where it went 12-4-1 and went back to the top.
Seven seniors depart, including Tobias, Angelo and Nicole Charles Many key players are set to return in 2007, as Meagher, Renk, Jennifer VanderMeulen and Jessica Bogwicz lead the returning cast.