It will prove quite difficult for the Vernon Verona Sherrill field hockey team to match its magical 2008 run -- but it's sure going to try.
All the Red Devils did a season ago was go 14-3-1 and, with a series of dramatic wins, go all the way to the state Class B final four before finally getting stopped by eventual state champion Garden City.
Still, the large group of red-clad fans in Chittenango for that state semifinal on a cold November evening reflected how the girls' success galvanized the entire school community -- and an encore might be at hand, despite the departure of six valuable seniors, five of them starters.
In a busy opening week of the 2009 season, the Red Devils immediately found success, beating Whitesboro in its opener, then going to Holland Patent and recording a 2-0 win over the Golden Knights on Wednesday afternoon.
Tracee Scheibel led a VVS defense that held HP to just one shot and two penalty corners all afternoon. Thus, the Red Devils had plenty of time to unwind its attack and wait for chances to strike.
VVS went ahead for good when, amid a scramble in front of the net, Ashley Palmer slammed in a shot. The insurance goal came when Mary Schilling fired a pinpoint pass to the middle, where Danielle Brindisi took the pass and ripped it past HP goalie Samantha Ranaudo.
This weekend, VVS will compete in the annual Sherburne-Earlville Tournament.