Girls soccer Lakers take V-V-S Tournament

To start what it hopes to be an ambitious championship run, the Cazenovia girls soccer team had to take less publicized steps.

Still, those steps were emphatic, as the Lakers claimed the championship of the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Tournament with a pair of impressive efforts.

Cazenovia has a reason to feel ambitious. Under the guidance of head coach Lori Kleine, the Lakers got all the way to the Section III Class B finals in 2006 before Westhill denied them the title.

From that team, just two starters -- Mackenzie Moore and Erin Tatum -- graduated. Everyone else came back, giving the Lakers reason to think it could take everything in 2007.

This quest began with Friday's opening round at V-V-S, where Cazenovia roared back against Madison County rival Chittenango and beat the Bears 5-2.

Emily Smith scored twice in the first five minutes, and it nearly got to 3-0 -- but the Bears missed a penalty kick, the shot hitting the goal post.

From there, Cazenovia took over, closing within 2-1 by halftime, then putting up four unanswered goals in the second half to surge in front.

Five different players took turns getting goals. Christine Bosco, Kassie Kleine, Sarah Wright, Katie Kleine and Kristin Romagnoli all scored to help the Lakers draw clear.

A day later, Cazenovia had a similar experience with Rome Free Academy in the tournament final, as veterans Chelsea McKillop and Kara Cannizzaro took over in the second half to earn a 4-2 win over the Black Knights.

They were tied, 2-2, at the break as RFA's Jacklyn Welch and Brenna Ricci earned goals. But McKillop ran over the Black Knights' defense in the second half, finishing off a three-goal hat trick where each time, Cannizzaro got the assist. Kassie Kleine added the other Laker goal as Clare Dorsey worked in the net for 10 saves.

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