Cicero In reality, two different contests took place when the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse field hockey teams got together again Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium.
It started as a one-sided Warrior romp, but it transformed into an intriguing drama in the waning moments before the Northstars’ comeback attempt fell short, Liverpool prevailing 3-2.
They had met just 12 days earlier at LHS Stadium, the Warriors prevailing in a 2-0 shutout where it scored both goals in the second half.
Here, the reverse happened, as Liverpool had a 2-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old. Emily Burns scored at the 4:43 mark on a slap shot off a penalty corner, and the margin doubled less than four minutes later as Danielle Abold put home a rebound.
When Burns returned to get his second goal off Emma Lamison’s second assist of the night with 1:39 left in the first half, the Warriors led 3-0, and all appeared safe.
However, in the second half Liverpool could not pull further away, often denied on scoring chances as CNS goalie Meghan Wiacek finished with 10 saves.
Midway through the half, the Northstars got on the board when Maggie Kennedy found the net on a fast break. Things got more interesting when, with 3:21 left, Erin Stoddard converted on a penalty corner to cut the Warriors’ margin to one.
From there, though, the suddenly alert Warriors made sure that CNS did not get another close-up look, controlling the ball and running out the clock.
CNS took the momentum from that fast finish against Liverpool and carried it over to Thursday’s game against Rome Free Academy, where it shut out the Black Knights 3-0 - the same margin by which it lost to RFA on Sept. 17.
All through the contest, the Northstars attacked hard, keeping RFA in a defensive mode. That translated into a 1-0 halftime lead and further success in the late going, as Kennedy earned a pair of goals and Megan Caveny added an assist. Stoddard added an assist.
Now CNS and Liverpool gear up for a third encounter – which will come Nov. 2 in the Section III Class A semifinals at East Syracuse-Minoa at 5 p.m. The winner of that game gets RFA or Fayetteville-Manlius in the championship match.