Members of the Cazenovia varsity field hockey team sprint upfield as sophomore forward Rachel McLaughlin (17) launches a shot toward the opposing goaltender during a recent match at the Burton Street fields.
Photo by Pierce Smith.
At least for one 24-hour stretch, Cazenovia’s most accomplished teams took over Rome Free Academy Stadium and made it a Lakers showcase.
First, it was the football team’s romp over Camden in the Section III Class B semifinals. Then it was the two-time defending state Class C champion field hockey Lakers taking its turn last Saturday afternoon and drilling Canastota 7-0 in its sectional semifinal.
This ran Cazenovia’s win streak to 38 consecutive games, and also allowed the Lakers to showcase a strong, diverse attack that simply overwhelms most of its opposition.
Canastota, the no. 5 seed, had made it this far by edging no. 4 seed Little Falls 2-1 in last Tuesday’s opening round.
But the Raiders were on the defensive from the start, turning away all sorts of Lakers chances as goalie Audrey Soper was on her way to a 21-save effort.
At the 19-minute mark, though, Cazenovia, off another penalty corner, finally pushed one past Soper as Jessy Silfer did the honors off clean passes from Maggie Carpenter and Jessica Chiarello.
Off another penalty corner four minutes later, Rachel Nourse scored off of Emily Willard’s feed, and it was 2-0, where it stood at halftime.
Gradually, the Lakers wore Canastota’s defense down, and it scored five more times, two of them from Willard, while McLaughlin, Ashley Kent and Meredith Shephard also took turns earning goals. McLaughlin and Sarah Willard each picked up assists, too.
Cazenovia will face Holland Patent in Saturday’s Class C final at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium after the Golden Knights beat Port Byron 2-1 in the other semifinal, played last Sunday at RFA Stadium.