Caz field hockey finishes perfect regular season

Lakers shut out ESM, Homer, Cortland to go to 16-0

At least for another season, the Cazenovia field hockey team’s win streak against Onondaga High School League opponents is safe.

The Lakers made it 84 in a row by getting three more victories last week, also culminating a 16-0 regular season, the only Section III team to go into the playoffs unblemished as it goes after a third consecutive state championship.

At the center of these efforts was last Monday’s home game against Cazenovia, where a long memory and a lot of skill helped the Lakers smash the Spartans 6-0.

Back on Sept. 19, Cazenovia went to ESM Stadium and got pushed into overtime, its win streak and undefeated season nearly vanishing before Emily Willard scored 22 seconds into overtime to pull out a 2-1 win.

A month later, Willard, who had another OT goal to beat Rome Free Academy on Oct. 9, would push her team ahead in the rematch against ESM. Just 9:51 into the game, a penalty corner turned into a scramble in front of the Spartans’ net, and Willard emerged from it to sling a shot past Rachel Aird into the box.

For much of the half, ESM stayed within 1-0 and made a series of long runs to test Cazenovia’s defense, but the Lakers kept the Spartans from getting too many direct spots.

Then, with 4:09 left in the half, Willard, off a feed from Jessy Silfer, put home a goal that made it 2-0. Even more damaging was Rachel McLaughlin’s goal just seconds before the break, assisted by Jessy Silfer.

Now with a 3-0 edge going into halftime, the Lakers did not let up. McLaughlin tacked on a second goal as Maggie Carpenter also found the net twice, while Silfer added a second assist. Sarah Willard and Nicole Chiarello earned assists, too.

This proved the springboard for the rest of the week, and two more dominant efforts, starting Wednesday night with a trip to Homer and an 8-0 taming of the Trojans.

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