Oct 30, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When Colin Hill stepped up and stopped the first penalty kick he ever faced, no one present at Sunday’s Section III Class B boys soccer quarterfinal figured he would do that again.
But Hill would do so, three times, in a shoot-out that helped the no. 8 seed Cazenovia Lakers shock top seed and defending champion Clinton after the two sides played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime.
Not only was Clinton going after back-to-back sectional crowns, it arrived with 17-1 record. And most of those wins were shutouts, constructed by a big, physical defense that continually frustrated the opposition, and could be aggressive because its goalkeeper, Chris Snyder, could catch anything shot at him.
However, the Warriors hadn’t played in more than a week, while Cazenovia was just coming off a 3-0 win over Skaneateles in the opening round three days earlier and were in much better rhythm.
To that end, Cazenovia applied some early pressure — and it paid off when, just 7:10 into the game, a Warrior defender deflected a Cazenovia pass past Snyder into the net, an own goal — and exactly the kind of break an underdog needs.
Midway through the first half, Clinton got on the board as its leading scorer, Jordan Hobaica, put up a quick header that beat Hill. Not long after that, Tito Ferrari was whistled inside the 18-yard box for a foul.
In the 19 previous games Cazenovia had played this fall, Hill had not faced a penalty kick. Jon Dillon took the shot — and Hill, guessing right, dove to his left and grabbed it.
They would remain 1-1 through a scoreless second half and 30 minutes of sudden-death overtime, the game getting more sloppy as the soggy field turned to mud in some spots.
Clinton had most of the opportunities in the early going, but Cazenovia turned it around in the second half, solving the defense and making Snyder work. By game’s end, Hill had 10 saves, to Snyder’s eight.
A full 30 minutes of sudden-death overtime did not settle matters, either, though both teams had good chances to end it.
So it all rode on a shoot-out, with up to five chances for each team to convert penalty kicks. Snyder had the edge in experience — but it was Hill that came up big, stopping all three PK’s as Cazenovia beat Snyder on all three of its chances to close it out.
The Lakers now advanced to Tuesday’s Class B semifinal against no. 4 seed Marcellus at Chittenango High School. The winner would get Westhill or Lowville in Friday’s final at SUNY-Cortland.
It was, as a whole, a great weekend for Cazenovia’s sports teams. The boys soccer Lakers’ upset followed the girls soccer team’s easy advance to the Class B semifinals and the football team’s 22-8 win over Solvay that set up Saturday’s epic clash with Westhill in the sectional championship game.
And on Sunday night, Cazenovia’s field hockey team secured a spot in the Class C final by routing Sherburne-Earlville 6-1 at Sauquoit Valley.
Cazenovia was up 3-0 by halftime and never was caught. Jaimie Purdy earned her first three-goal hat trick of the season, with Katie McLean scoring twice and Tori Widrick getting the other tally. Devin Speer, Rebecca DeMario and Maggie Dougherty all were credited with assists.
On Thursday night, Cazenovia (16-3-1) will meet Little Falls in the Class C title game at Rome Free Academy Stadium. The winner gets Morrisville-Eaton or Weedsport in the C/D final Monday at Cicero-North Syracuse at 3 p.m.