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Caz field hockey lands fifth straight sectional title

With more than a little history to draw from, Cazenovia's field hockey team again found Holland Patent in the way of a Section III Class B championship.

But after 60 minutes of tense struggle Wednesday night at Rome Free Academy Stadium, the Lakers pulled out a 1-0 victory over the Golden Knights to earn the sectional title for the fifth year in a row.

When Cazenovia's title run began in 2006 (while still in Class B), it beat HP 3-2 in overtime. More battles were to follow through the years, and as the top two seeds in 2010, the Lakers and Golden Knights were in conflict once more.

From the opening whistle, the Lakers, with its high-octane offense and a fast turf surface to work with, attacked HP hard and had a series of scoring opportunities and penalty corners.

Yet HP resisted well, keeping it 0-0, and much of that could be attributed to the work of goalie Allison Friermuth, who would finish with 10 saves on the night.

For its part, Cazenovia's defense, led again by Ellen Burr, Raeanne Clabeaux, SarahRose Gabor and Molly Hudson, broke up things whenever the Golden Knights attacked. Emily Mastropaolo only had to make three saves.

Deep into the second half, it remained 0-0, and the prospect of a sudden-death overtime loomed when, with 10 minutes left, a shot went off an HP defender on the goal line, which gave Cazenovia a penalty stroke.

It was Belle Hoagland, going one-on-one against Friermuth. Hoagland calmly sent her shot into the box, and Cazenovia held on the rest of the way for another title.

Now, to reach the state playoffs, Cazenovia had to win Saturday's Class C-D final at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium against New York Mills, who took the D title on Wednesday by edging Morrisville-Eaton 1-0.

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