Liverpool Another weekend brought another big test for the Cazenovia field hockey team - and another resounding success.
The undefeated Lakers ventured to Liverpool on a cold, windy Saturday night and got hot at just the right time late in regulation, leading to a 2-0 victory over the defending Section III Class A champion Warriors to improve its mark to 11-0.
This came exactly a week after Cazenovia fought off another local Class A contender, Fayetteville-Manlius, to win the championship game of the O'Connor Classic at Camden.
That was on a neutral field, though. This game was right on Liverpool's home turf, and the Warriors were riding a mid-season hot streak, featuring one of the state's top players in senior Emma Lamison.
So the Lakers' primary mission was to contain Lamison, but that nearly backfired in the opening 90 seconds when Liverpool drew a penalty corner and Lamison maneuvered her way to the net, only to get blocked before a shot was fired.
Through a scoreless first half, the Lakers and Warriors earned more than a dozen penalty corners, but could not convert any of them, either through poor passes or attentive defenses that broke up opportunities before they could develop.
This pattern endured deep into the second half. There would be a few minutes of Liverpool pressure, followed by Cazenovia attacking, but it remained 0-0. Both teams had possible go-ahead goals disallowed because they were hit too high.
Between goalie Lauren Devine, who finished with 10 saves, and defenders Maggie Carpenter, Maggie Namy, Maureen Milmoe and Annika Christensen, the Lakers maintained its portion of the shutout and waited for something to break.
With 7:50 left, the break arrived. Off yet another penalty corner, Nicole Chiarello, from the left point, took Emily Willard's feed and crushed a shot that Liverpool goalie Megan Evangelista had no chance of stopping as it crashed into the cage, putting Cazenovia up 1-0.