Any Liverpool field hockey partisan would have to agree with the time-honored sports notion that it's tough to beat anyone three times in a season.
And that's especially true when that third game decides a Section III Class A championship.
Sure enough, Cicero-North Syracuse would push the Warriors into overtime on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Chittenango High School, only to have Jennifer VanderMeulen produce the winning shot in a 1-0 decision.
Early in the seven-on-seven overtime period, Liverpool drew a penalty corner. VanderMeulen was set to receive the pass, but the ball instead went to Beth Lamison, and momentary confusion ensued.
Lamison, seeing that there still was some time to pass, tapped the ball to VanderMeulen, and the Liverpool senior flung a shot past diving CNS goalie Nicole Gillette into the net, clinching the Warriors' second consecutive sectional title.
Right from the time they first played this fall in a 4-3 overtime classic on Sept. 16 at Bragman Stadium, the sense was that Liverpool and CNS would end up meeting for the sectional title. Even as the Warriors prevailed again Oct. 13 at Coyne Field, the order held -- and less than three weeks later, the two neighbors met one more time.
Quite unlike those meetings, though, the Warriors came out slow and uninspired, unable to mount a full attack in the first half as CNS defended well and made an occasional attack, too.
"We were sloppy and slow in the first half, and we weren't awake," said Liverpool head coach Kim Dominick. "(Soon enough) our players realized what was on the line and realized CNS wanted a championship, too."
As it went to the second half 0-0, Liverpool began to organize itself, spending long periods of time in the Northstars' end, probing for the one shot that could mean victory.