Cicero Emma Lamison and Emily Burns stood side-by-side on the Bragman Stadium sideline. It was a frigid and overcast 41-degree afternoon, and with the sun setting, both Liverpool field hockey players were already shivering just minutes after stepping off the pitch.
But underneath their reddening ears and cheeks, they wore full smiles stretching ear-to-ear. They had just won their second straight Section III Class A field hockey title by the narrowest of margins.
“It’s amazing,” Lamison said. “It’s out last year so we want to go as far as we can and play as long as we can for this team.”
For the Warriors, that means at least one more game. Liverpool edged Cicero-North Syracuse 1-0 in Saturday's sectional final behind Burns’ goal five minutes into the second half, coming off a penalty corner, with Lamison earning the assist.
Burns and Lamison said that the play was actually a blown corner - one of only two for the Warriors on the afternoon - but that didn’t stop Burns from burying it in the bottom-left corner of the cage.
C-NS got the better of Liverpool in their most recent regular-season match-up, a 1-0 victory in overtime on Oct. 18 at LHS Stadium after tying 1-1 barely a week earlier.
Lamison said the Warriors knew they should have won both of those games and that they were not going to be denied again.
“Even our younger players were pushing it for us because they know it’s our last years and they want us to go as long as we can,” Burns said.
But to start the game, the Warriors played defensively. Head coach Kim Dominick said the team failed to generate enough offensive opportunities because they weren’t playing aggressive enough.
Liverpool’s best chance of the half came in the 21st minute when Lamison drew a penalty corner after she was fouled by C-NS back Erin Stevener. Alana Lorraine ripped the ensuing shot toward the bottom left corner, but was denied by diving Northstars goaltender Hannah White.