M-E field hockey gets Vaughan 400th win

Through decades of hard work and commitment, Morrisville-Eaton field hockey coach Patti Vaughan built one of the best small-school programs in the entire state.

In doing so, Vaughan's teams have won 12 Section III titles, tied for the most of any school, and reached the state finals in both 1995 and '99.

And now, Vaughan has reached another milestone -- 400 wins, the first Section III coach to do so and just the fifth in state history.

M-E gave Vaughan that 400th win in an exciting match Thursday where the host Warriors had to hang on to beat visting Canastota 3-2.

The game was barely 10 seconds old when M-E goalie Carrie Rider had to stop Canastota's Sam Haumann on a point-blank shot, keeping the Raiders from an early lead.

Instead, the game went for more than 23 minutes before someone broke through. That turned out to be the Warriors, as incresed pressure paid off when Amanda Schokker hit a terrific crossing pass to Kate Verne, who slapped it into the net.

Less than four minutes later, when Canastota turned it over deep in its own end, Leigha Morris swooped in and scored, making it 2-0, where it stayed until halftime.

It appeared to be over when, 11:33 into the second half, Shelby Widger put home M-E's third goal, with Schokker gaining a second assist.

Following a time-out, though, the Raiders regrouped and intensified its own pace. That began to pay off when Carmella Rinaldo scored with 10:50 to play, taking advantage of a penalty corner and nice passes from Holly Marsh and Andrea Underwood.

The margin fell to one when, two minutes later, Underwood's shot got rebounded off a Warrior defender into the net. Though tired, the Warriors kept Canastota out the rest of the way and held on to win.

Many former players joined fans, friends and current Warriors to help Vaughan celebrate the 400th win -- and when it was done, work began for games this week against Sherburne-Earlville and Cooperstown.

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