In its own strange way, the Cazenovia girls soccer team could only blame itself for its exit from the Section III Class B playoffs.
It was, after all, the Lakers’ 2-1 upset of Marcellus on Oct. 21 at Swan Pond in Manilus that moved the defending sectional champion Mustangs down to a no. 3 seed – and meant that Cazenovia, as a no. 6 seed, would run right into them again in Friday night’s Class B quarterfinal.
Playing this time on the Mustangs’ home turf, Cazenovia never entered the argument, Marcellus jumping all over them in a 3-0 defeat.
Adding to the irony was the fact that the shot disparity between the two sides in this edition was far more equal. Cazenovia took 10 shots, just two less than Marcellus, a stark contrast to the 28-6 shot advantage the Mustangs could not exploit the week before.
However, the difference was that Marcellus converted early and often. Ellie Ryan, Lexy Bird and Becca Nolan all notched first-half goals, leaving the Lakers in a catch-up mode for the rest of the night.
Jamie Enders turned away everything else, earning seven saves as defenders Kathryn Costello, Becca Wheeler and Caroline Franz tightened up its own end. But the Lakers could not get anything past Marcellus goalie Margaret Choroser, who recorded six saves.
Cazenovia, of course, had to first get to Marcellus, which meant working past no. 11 seed Sherburne-Earlville in last Tuesday night’s opening round at Morrisville State College.
Despite some early nervous moments, the Lakers eliminated the Marauders 5-0. It took a while for Cazenovia to warm up, as it only led 1-0 at halftime before its attack wore S-E down in the latter stages.
Just as importantly, the offense didn’t lean as much on Kristie Kleine, though she did have one goal and one assist.
Plenty of others helped, as freshman Audrey Burbidge found the net twice, while Kayla Dorrance also managed one goal and one assist. Colleen Dougherty had the other goal and Kelsi Fredericks managed an assist.
The journey ended at Marcellus, but Cazenovia still could take pride in a 12-6 mark achieved with a relatively young roster.
Costello, Dougherty, Franz and Becca Wheeler graduate, but the return of Kleine, Enders, Burbidge, Dorrance and Fredericks, among others, gives the Lakers a reason to think that, in 2012, it can make a real championship push.