Caz field hockey goes for third straight state title

— During that span, it seemed Cazenovia just couldn’t break through, multiple times falling to Section IV powerhouse Marathon in the regional round.

“The closest we’d come was winning the C vs. D crossover game to move onto regionals, but we had always lost in regionals,” Schefitc said. “We never got closer than that. We thought if we ever won regionals, we’d have a shot at winning the championship.”

In 2010, the Lakers finally won regionals. The team caught Whitney Point — fresh off a euphoric victory over archrival Marathon — off-guard, and won to advance to the state final four.

“We weren’t really in anybody’s head,” Schefitc said. “We should have been.”

Two wins later, the Cazenovia girls celebrated Jillian Vogl’s sudden-death, state championship-winning score on the Cicero-North Syracuse turf.

That 2010 team graduated 10 members, including seven starters — not exactly the recipe for a prototypical dynasty. Schefitc said the second title team had some talent, but picked up confidence and fluency over the course of the season.

The Lakers rallied around each other, Schefitc said. They felt an obligation to their teammates, as well as the program, to win another crown.

And this time around, Emmajean Speer played the role of hero in the 2011 championship game against Greenwich. Crashing off a penalty corner, he pushed a loose ball into the net 23 seconds into overtime of the state title game, again played at C-NS's Bragman Stadium.

“It kind of felt like everybody from all the years were a part of the first, and the second, championship,” Schefitc said. “It doesn’t take one year, you know? It builds up after several years so even some player who long graduated helped us get to that point.”

While this year’s Lakers are prepping for another title run, many of those graduates are starting their respective collegiate seasons.

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