Nov 12, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In a matter of minutes, the Cazenovia field hockey team made sure that it would make a return trip to the state Class C final four.
Three goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, two of them less than a minute apart, led the Lakers to a win over East Rochester in Saturday’s Class C regional final at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
“It (the fast start) was very surprising,” said head coach Lorraine Scheftic. “We’ve done it to other teams, but in the regional round, most of the time goals don’t come as easily.”
Cazenovia had enjoyed a three-day break following its state-qualifying 2-1 overtime win over Morrisville-Eaton, while East Rochester, the Section V champions, had played the day before, eliminating Barker 1-0.
So with fresher legs, the Lakers took just 1:07 to seize the lead. It worked the ball around the circle until, from the right point, Emmajean Speer crushed a shot that Jillian Vogl deflected into the net.
An even more decisive sequence started seven and a half minutes later. Cazenovia doubled the lead to 2-0 as it poured through East Rochester’s defense and set up a point-blank shot that Emily Willard fired home.
ER called a time-out, but the Lakers immediately pushed again and forced a penalty corner, where Vogl again was in the right place, tipping home Rachel Nourse’s shot from the point. Those two goals were just 49 seconds apart.
So it was 3-0, and the game was not even 10 minutes old. From there, the trick for the Lakers was not to get lazy and allow the Bombers any kind of hope.
That didn’t prove to be a problem, as Cazenovia kept the ball in ER’s end for long portions of the rest of the half, and even when the Bombers attacked, they were quickly broken up.
Defenders Sarah Rose Gabor, Maggie Carpenter, Jessy Silfer and Maureen Milmoe had total control of their end of the field, holding ER to two shots in that pivotal first half.
The Lakers spent the second half trying to add to its already-comfortable margin. Just 2:51 into the half, Willard got her second goal, fed by Vogl, and with 10:13 left Silfer tacked on another goal, with Vogl picking up her second assist.
Vogl finished with two goals and two assists. Scheftic said that the senior midfielder is “taking it to another level. You can’t keep up with her, and she thrives on competition.”
Cazenovia will take on Bronxville (Section I) in Saturday’s state semifinal at 5:30 also at Bragman Stadium. The final is Sunday at 2 p.m. against Greenwich (Section II) or Friends Academy (Section VIII).
Scheftic said the presence of veterans like Vogl, Silfer, Gabor and Speer, all starters on the 2010 state title team, help settle down the younger players, and will be valuable at this state final four.
Vogl agreed. “We all want this,” she said. “Once we want something, we go out and go for it. We know what it feels like to win a state championship and want to do it again.”