Taking the road to glory

Everywhere you looked on the third weekend in November, new chapters of sports history were authored by Section III teams as they captured state championships for the first time.

First it was Cazenovia's field hockey Lakers, going to the top in Class C. Then it was Baldwinsville's girls volleyball dynasty, finally scaling the summit after 15 years of local rule. And finally it was another group of Lakers, from Skaneateles, conquering all in Class B boys soccer.

Three teams, three state titles. And several others (two each in boys and girls soccer) made it to the title game before just falling short. Oh yeah, and General Brown's football Lions made it to the Carrier Dome to play next Sunday for the state Class C title, causing all kinds of pride for folks in the north country.

We start in Caz, where the title won Saturday at CNS's Bragman Stadium was five years in the making. From 2006 onward, Lorraine Scheftic's charges kept winning sectional titles - and kept running into a regional wall, unable to even glimpse the state final four.

Not this time, though. Abby Eschen delivered a hat trick that subdued Whitney Point and, after a 2-1 nail-biter with Greenwich, the Lakers arrived at CNS with huge momentum that carried through a 4-0 semifinal rout of Briarcliff Manor.

Then came the final against Pierson-Bridgehampton, from Long Island. Regulation passed without a goal, despite the Lakers' innumerable penalty corners. But Caz stayed patient and, in the seven-on-seven overtime period, Jillian Vogl delivered the goal - and the school's first-ever state crown in a team sport.

That good feeling would spread to two other distant locales on Sunday, starting with Glens Falls, where B'ville reached volleyball nirvana the hard way in a thrilling Class AA state final against Webster Schroeder.

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