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C-NS, Liverpool to meet in field hockey sectional final

Rivals win Class A semifinals by one-goal margins

Liverpool field hockey forward Shelby Peck (22) charges up the field in Sunday night's Class A semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius. Peck scored both of her team's goal, including the game-winner in overtime, to send the Warriors past the Hornets 2-1.

Liverpool field hockey forward Shelby Peck (22) charges up the field in Sunday night's Class A semifinal against Fayetteville-Manlius. Peck scored both of her team's goal, including the game-winner in overtime, to send the Warriors past the Hornets 2-1. Scott Schild

— The Northstars started to probe in the Black Knight's end in the late stages of regulation. And with 5:46 left, C-NS drew a penalty corner, and a series of passes left Aloi open, and she fired it past RFA goalie Reanna Zappavigna to put her side back in front.

Right to the end, the Northstars had to hang on, turning back two RFA penalty corners in the dying seconds to earn a trip to the finals - where its neighbors from Liverpool would be waiting.

Up against F-M, a team with which it split two regular-season meetings, the Warriors trudged through a 0-0 first half. Emma Lamison and Emily Burns both had great point-blank shots late in the half, but Hornets goalie Julie Hockenberger turned them away.

Just 39 seconds into the second half, though, the Warriors got a 1-0 lead as Lamison charged down the right side, passed to the middle - and saw Peck poke in the game's first goal.

But the Warriors grew tentative after that play, and F-M sustained a long attack over the next 15-plus minutes. That paid off when Kayla O'Connor scored off a feed from Hilary O'Neil with 13:32 left, tying it 1-1.

Through the latter stages of regulation, both sides had chances to get the lead, but could not finish them off. Liverpool's defenders turned back every F-M push, and goalie Megan Evangelista made some key stops.

In the seven-on-seven overtime period, the Warriors forced the action. Then, from midfield, Peck gained possession of the ball and, in open field, zoomed past multiple F-M defenders, drawing out Hockenberger, and then shooting the ball past her into the cage for the game-winner.

Having won on its home turf as the "visiting" team, Liverpool now faces a true road test, since the final against C-NS takes place Saturday at Bragman Stadium, which will also host the state final four on Nov. 16-17.

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