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Liverpool boys lax starts sectional title defense

Warriors must replace most of starters from 2012 run

— Yet without the motivation of losing the previous year’s championship game in triple overtime, as they did to West Genesee in 2011, it is going to need every ounce of effort to propel the same success.

Though senior goalie Dominick Madonna, a three-year starter, watches play from the net, he knows this to be true.

“As long as we're working hard we're going to play harder than the other team,” Madonna said. “We're going to get to the ground ball first, we're going to work harder in all four periods, outrun the whole other team.”

Flood likes his team’s outlook. “Our athleticism is going to surprise people," he said. "We don't have very many players but we're all pretty quick and we've gained a lot of endurance from working hard in the off-season, doing sprints.”

Lifting the weight of such a long championship drought from its shoulders may be just what the Warriors need to go beyond the Class A regional final loss they suffered to Ithaca last year.

“It was just an emotional high for those kids to win the sectional championship in that manner,” Felice said of the 5-4 overtime victory against West Genesee. “It was kind of hard to get them in that right mindset after a huge win like that.”

Felice will rely on his seven seniors - captains Kuppel, Flood, Madonna and Harry Sardella, as well as defensemen Nick Bittel, Dillon Springer and Dustin Springer - to serve as guiding lights for the rest of the team and to take some of the pressure off the coaching staff.

“They know our system and that's one of the best parts,” Felice said. “That experience and that leadership is what’s carrying us this year. They know what it takes and they know how hard they work, they're definitely doing a great job instilling that into all of our underclassmen.”

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