Still in hot pursuit of its first-ever state championship, the Liverpool field hockey traveled south, to the Binghamton suburb of Vestal, hoping to punch its ticket to this weekend's state Class A final four closer to home in Chittenango.
However, the Warriors didn't quite get to that point, denied the spot by Section IV champion Greene in a thrilling 2-1 match last Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool was rested and prepared after its gripping overtime victory over Cicero-North Syracuse in the Section III Class A final on Nov. 2. And it wanted to move further than it did in 2007, when it fell to Saratoga Springs in the regional finals.
The Warriors put itself on the board in the first half when, off a shot that hit the goal post, Kayla DeAngelis converted. But the 1-0 lead did not hold, as Greene's Anna Crumb answered with a goal with 7:55 left in the half.
They remained 1-1 for a while, each side getting many chances at breaking the tie. Liverpool goalie Mikey Meagher had a strong day as she put up nine saves, while Greene counterpart Devyn Staley had seven saves.
Staying poised, the Spartans kept pushing and, as regulation time began to wind down, drew a penalty corner. With 2:14 left, Greene forward Christine Conroe took the pass from teammate Andrea Day, faked it from a charging Jennifer VanderMeulen, then struck a shot off Meagher's pad that slipped into the net.
Right at the wire, Liverpool attacked hard and were ready to try one more penalty corner before the clock ran out -- and the season ended.
The Warriors finished at 17-2, with both losses coming to Section IV teams (Greene and Marathon) that made it to the state final four.
A great senior class that includes VanderMeulen, Meagher, Marybeth Madia, Rachael Grannell, Alyssa Renk and Michelle Magdjuik departs. However, DeAngelis, Beth Lamison, Emma Lamison, Morgan Beatty and Madison Buckley lead a strong returning cast as the Warriors go for three sectional titles in a row (and maybe much more) in 2009.