East Syracuse Well-rested, and ready to reclaim its place at the top of the Section III Class A ranks, the Liverpool field hockey team did not let a familiar rival stand in the way.
In Wednesday night's Class A semifinal at East Syracuse-Minoa Stadium, the top-seeded Warriors, fueled by an inspired Emma Lamison's hat trick, knocked off no. 4 seed Cicero-North Syracuse 4-1.
Thanks to a 15-0-1 romp through the regular season, Liverpool was a clear favorite going into the playoffs. About the only concern was because, when it played CNS, it marked the first game for the Warriors in 15 days.
In fact, that last contest, on Oct. 15, had come against CNS, when the Warriors nearly squandered a three-goal halftime lead, hanging on to win 3-2.
That, plus a 2-0 decision on Oct. 6 where Liverpool had scored both goals in the second half, gave the Northstars some reason to think that it could make the Warriors nervous.
All that dissipated, though, when Liverpool stepped out and, led by Lamison, seized a quick 2-0 edge. Brittany Murphy would put CNS on the board in the second half, but the Warriors kept converting its chances and pulled away.
Lamison finished with three goals, giving her 16 on the season. And the outburst meant more because her father, Tim, had suffered a brain aneurysm the week before and could not attend the game. So Lamison had "Make My Dad Proud" written on her stick, and she did just that.
Emily Burns had the other goal and twice assisted on Lamison's scoring plays. CNS goalie Meghan Wiacek had five saves, one more than Liverpool counterpart Mary Reed.
Now Liverpool will get to go to CNS's Bragman Stadium for Saturday's Class A final against no. 2 seed Rome Free Academy, which starts at noon. The Black Knights toppled Fayetteville-Manlius in the other semifinal by the same 4-1 margin that the Warriors used to eliminate the Northstars.