Caz field hockey stopped by Marathon again

It was another Section III championship season for the Cazenovia field hockey team - the fourth in a row.

And just like the previous three, the Lakers' season ended in the regional round, one win short of the state final four.

For that, Cazenovia can mostly blame Marathon, who came to Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium Saturday night and controlled most phases of the game, beating the Lakers 4-0 in the Class C regional final.

If it was any consolation to Cazenovia, it was closer than last season's 7-0 defeat to those same group of Olympians in that same regional round.

Still, Lakers head coach Lorrane Scheftic said that Marathon's experience in big games played a big role in the outcome.

"They've been in this position a lot," Scheftic said. "They were much more comfortable."

What added to the Olympians' comfort - and Cazenovia's ultimate discomfort - was the presence of senior star Marta Malmberg, who just announced that she's going to the University of North Carolina next fall.

Malmberg, the third-leading scorer in Marathon history (68 goals, 88 assists), put in both of her team's goals in the first half.

Aside from a pair of penalty corners midway through, Cazenovia spent a majority of the first half in an unfamiliar position - playing in its own end, trying to keep Marathon from pulling in front.

Just 9:59 into the game, though, the Olympians seized a 1-0 lead when, off a penalty corner and a series of short, crisp passes, Malmberg flung the ball into the box.

Barely six minutes later, another Marathon penalty corner turned into another Malmberg goal, this one assisted by Stephanie Fiske. That 2-0 margin held up until halftime.

Scheftic said the Lakers were unaccustomed to playing so much defense. And the pressure kept coming in the second half as, aside from one long shot that rattled off the left post with 17:30 left, Cazenovia didn't have many close-up chances.

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