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Soccer, field hockey playoffs now set

Over the next two weeks, it turns into elimination time in Central New York high school sports.

Whether it's soccer or field hockey, the circumstances are the same. Two teams meet, and when it's done, someone sees its season continue, and the other sees its season end. Simple as that.

We learned Sunday what the Section III playoffs will look like, and it's fascinating. Here's a not-that-brief synopsis of the tournaments, starting with girls soccer.

Class AA - Baldwinsville is exactly where it was in 2009, sitting as the top seed. That didn't work out a year ago, thanks to Auburn, and a rematch could happen if the Maroons beat Oswego in the first round. Plus, Liverpool (who scared the Bees twice in a pair of 2-1 games this season) could await in the semifinals. Meanwhile, defending champion CBA sits at no. 2, with what looks like an easier path to the finals - though a possible quarterfinal with no. 7 seed F-M, who tied them earlier this month, could prove quite dangerous.

Class A - J-D is looking to go back-to-back. With Jessica Holmes and the Devereaux sisters running wild, the Red Rams sit as the top seed, likely not to be challenged until the semifinals. A really good 4 vs. 5 quarterfinal pits rivals Cortland and Homer against each other, while no. 2 seed Whitesboro must deal with its own biggest rival, Whitesboro. Camden adds even more Tri-Valley flavor as the no. 3 seed, but they better not look past quarterfinal opponent Chittenango.

Class B - True, reigning champ Watertown IHC is the top seed and defending champ. But how much did the Cavaliers' Frontier League final loss to city rival Watertown hurt them? And IHC could, in the quarterfinals, meet the same Solvay squad that stunned Marcellus a year ago to open up the bracket for the north country. Meanwhile, the Mustangs, burning to avoid another early exit, drew a no. 2 seed, though it might have to worry about Lowville in the quarterfinals. Ilion, the no. 3 seed, faces a major step up in competition.

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