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M-E field hockey snags share of league title

Big matches, and big performances, highlighted the Morrisville-Eaton and Canastota field hockey team's work in the next-to-last week of the regular season.

It culminated in Thursday's wild contest between the Warriors and New York Mills. With first place in the Center State Conference West division at stake, M-E did just enough and, with a late comeback, squeaked out a 4-3 win over the Marauders to clinch a tie for the league title.

A crisp series of passes early in the first half led to Amber Smalley's goal and a 1-0 Warrior lead. Mills countered with a furious attack that saw Saran Frankland scored twice in a span of five minutes.

Down 2-1, M-E resumed its attack and, a minute before halftime, forced a penalty stroke that Leigha Morris converted to tie the game. It would not be the last time Morris would come up big.

Midway through the second half, Mills went back in front, 3-2, Kayla Britell converting. M-E stayed patient, then attacked hard and, with seven minutes left, pulled even again as Katie Verne pushed in a rebound of Ashley Kincaid's shot.

It all would boil down to a pair of penalty strokes. Just after Verne tied it, Mills forced the single shot in M-E's end. Becki Vivacqua took the shot - and it hit the left post.

Given a huge break, the Warriors countered and, with 2:31 left, earned its own penalty stroke. Just as in the first half, Morris took it and found the net, and M-E had the lead for good as it improved to 11-2 on the season.

Just before playing Mills, M-E fought past Sherburne-Earlville 1-0 last Tuesday afternoon, a game where Widger notched the only goal. Jesse Woodruff's five saves made sure that the slim margin helped up.

Canastota, making a late-season push, went to Mount Markham on Columbus Day and worked hard for a 1-0 victory over the Mustangs.

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