Nov 06, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Eight minutes – that’s all it took.
In that short span during the middle portion of the first half, the Cazenovia field hockey scored four times and put away New York Mills in Saturday’s Section III Class C/D state qualifier at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
The Lakers eventually beat the Marauders 7-0 in one of the most lopsided games in sectional playoff history, earning yet another chance at reaching the state final four – a place to which it has never advanced in four previous tries.
So much of what happened against Mills was a natural reaction to Cazenovia’s previous outing, a 1-0 decision over Holland Patent in the Class C finals. Simply put, Cazenovia did not want to wait nearly the length of regulation to get on the board, as it had to against the Golden Knights.
Head coach Lorraine Scheftic said that, after the HP game, her team worked on penalty corners, making subtle changes to the formations to give more players chances. Also, she said, they worked on taking better shots, not harder ones.
To say the least, it worked.
The Lakers attacked the Marauders (who beat Morrisville-Eaton 1-0 for the Class D title) right from the start. In less than two minutes, it had a penalty corner, and Jillian Vogl’s long run set up another one at the six-minute mark, which led to a disallowed goal (deflected too high) and Victoria Swider making a nice kick save.
All these tries yielded no goals. Just eight seconds after the 10-minute mark, though, Abby Eschen fit a shot from the left side just inside the right post after a well-timed feed from Vogl, the most active Laker attacker in the early going.
“Our passing was more efficient and our give-and-go (passes) worked better,” Eschen said.
And so the rout began. The chances kept coming, wave by wave, as off a penalty corner less than four minutes after Eschen’s tally, EmmaJean Spear blasted a point-blank shot past Swider to make it 2-0.
At the 14:29 mark, Vogl took her turn to score, the goal coming off a long scramble in front of Mills’ net as it went to 3-0. At the 18:52 mark, not even eight minutes after it got on the board, Belle Hoagland found the net off yet another goal-line shuffle.
During all this, Mills barely got the ball out of its own end, so Cazenovia did not have to work much on the defense side and, instead, concentrate on getting more scoring chances.
Following a brief lull, another flurry came late in the half, Eschen scoring a second time to make it 5-0 and Tori Widrick finally getting on the board less than a minute later as Belle Hoagland got the assist.
That made it 6-0 going into halftime, a barrage that included 20 shots and nine penalty corners. It also turned the second half into one long formality, even though Widrick added a second goal at the 6:30 mark to further build the margin.
Cazenovia started making extensive substitutions early in the second half, just to make sure no one got hurt – and started preparing for Tuesday’s Class C regional.
In that game at Greene High School, the Lakers will face Section IV champion Whitney Point, who dethroned long-time power Marathon 3-2 in its sectional final. The winner gets to face the Section II champions Saturday with a berth in the Nov. 19-20 state final four (to be played at CNS) on the line.
Scheftic this may be the Lakers’ best chance at making a deep state tournament run.
“(This year) we have more confidence and more talent at every position and they’ve put a lot of time into field hockey, ” she said. But she cautioned that “you can have talented players, but you still have to execute as a team.”
Eschen said that to win from here on out, “we just need to step our level of play. We need to come out strong and score that first goal.”
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