Rested, focused and ready for another post-season push, the Cazenovia field hockey team set out to win a sixth consecutive Section III championship, the fifth in a row at the Class C level.
With the top seed, the Lakers had a bye into the semifinal round, which took place Saturday night at Rome Free Academy Stadium. Cazenovia met Holland Patent, the no. 4 seed, who had blasted Sherburne-Earlville 6-0 in the opening round.
Having squared off with the Golden Knights in many memorable playoff duels, the Lakers made sure that this one didn’t turn too interesting, riding the hot sticks of Jessy Silfer and Emmajean Spear to a 3-1 victory.
They were tied, 1-1, at halftime, HP getting on the board with Julia Hayes’ goal, fed by Brooke Smith. However, Speer and Silfer would twice foil Golden Knights goalie Emily Oliver in the second half as Cazenovia moved in front for good.
Speer had two of the goals. Silfer assisted on both of them, and added a goal of her own as Jillian Vogl also got an assist. Cazenovia’s defense limited HP to a handful of shots.
So the Lakers (15-1) will meet no. 2 seed Mount Markham (16-2) in this Saturday’s Class C final at 4 p.m. at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium, the same turf on which it won the state title a year ago. The Mustangs edged Little Falls 1-0 in the other semifinal.
A Class C/D state qualifier between the winner of this game and the survivor of the Class D final between Morrisville-Eaton and Sauquoit Valley is set for Nov. 9, also at CNS.