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VVS falls to Camden in field hockey final

One thing about the Vernon Verona Sherrill and Camden field hockey teams, who have now met for the Section III Class B championship three consecutive years -- they do take a while to resolve matters.

In 2007, it took a shoot-out for the Red Devils' title dreams to end. A season later, it was VVS pulling out the final in overtime on Ashley Palmer's goal on its way to the state final four.

So when the third VVS-Camden title showdown commenced Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School's Bragman Stadium, it only fit that, once again, 60 minutes of regulation would not be enough.

And just like '07, it would be the Blue Devils coming out in front, 1-0, the game decided when Kelcy Forbragd pushed home the decisive goal 2:42 into overtime to end the brief reign of the Red Devils.

They had met twice in the regular season, Camden winning on both occasions by 2-1 and 3-1 margins. Along the way, though, VVS picked up all kinds of hints and tips on how to attack the Blue Devils, and would try to put them to good use in the championship game.

Instead of hanging back and waiting for counter-attacks, the Red Devils applied the pressure first, forcing Camden to play strong defense in order to prevent a goal.

This persisted throughout the half, but VVS could not score, even when, less than a minute before halftime, Mary Schilling appeared to have a go-ahead goal -- but Camden defender Kayla Littler turned it away with a superb save.

Midway through the second half, VVS got three penalty-corner chances in a row, getting a great shot on the first try -- only to see Littler again make the timely stop. Between Littler's big plays and Heidi Deppmeyer's eight saves, Camden kept it 0-0.

So it went to the familiar stage of overtime, where each team has seven players and the field opens up for better scoring chances.

Camden pushed hard from the start of the OT, and decided the game when, off a pass from Megan Keil, Forbragd beat Teresa Moats for the game-winner.

The Red Devils finish 14-4, and three of those defeats were to Camden, who advances to face Section IV champion Maine-Endwell in the Class B regional final at CNS this Saturday.

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