On consecutive weekends, the Cazenovia field hockey team would get a better idea of where it stood in comparison to large-school powers, all part of a stretch where it played five straight times away from Burton Street.
At least the first part went well, as the Lakers, in a pair of tight one-goal matches, earned the championship of the annual O’Connor Classic in Camden.
In Friday’s opening round, Cazenovia faced Burnt Hills, from the Section II ranks, and though it would go back and forth, the Lakers still got past the Spartans 3-2.
Through the first half, Cazenovia maintained control, inching into a 1-0 lead. Burnt Hills broke through in the second half, finding the net twice, but the Lakers did so, too, and held off the Spartans’ attempts to force overtime.
Three different players – Ashley Kent, Rachel Nourse and Sarah Willard – earned the Lakers’ goals, with Nourse adding an assist. Jessy Silfer also managed an assist. In goal, Lauren Devine recorded four saves.
When Fayetteville-Manlius upended host Camden by that same 3-2 margin in the other opening-round game, it set up Saturday’s final, which also proved close – but again, Cazenovia handled it, beating the Hornets 2-1.
Here, the pattern was the same as Burnt Hills, the Lakers notching the only goal of the first half and F-M getting on the board after the break, only to be matched.
Kent notched another goal, giving her four for the week, as Silfer also converted and Hannah Light-Olson picked up an assist.
Defensively, Maureen Milmoe, Holly Gamlen, Maggie Namy and Nicole Chiarello cut off most of F-M’s chances, as Devine again only had to make four saves. Silfer, Nourse, Maggie Carpenter and Rachel McLaughlin were named to the All-Tournament team.
Before all this, the Lakers’ maintained its long OHSL win streak. And unlike the Sept. 19 trip to East Syracuse-Minoa that needed overtime to get settled, the Lakers’ next road trip, to Cortland a week later, was stress-free as Cazenovia smashed the Purple Tigers 7-0.
After gaining a 3-0 edge by halftime, the Lakers kept on attacking. It took 23 shots in 60 minutes, to Cortland’s grand total of one.
McLaughlin, Nourse and Kent each picked up a pair of goals. Sarah Willard earned the other goal, while Silfer and Light-Olson earned assists.
With the tournament win at Camden fresh behind them, the Lakers go to Weedsport Tuesday in pursuit of its 79th straight league win before a non-league showdown with defending Class A champion Liverpool on Saturday night at LHS Stadium.