Cazenovia's field hockey team with the second-place championship plaque after Sunday's state Class C championship game at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium. The Lakers fell to Pierson/Bridgehampton 1-0 in double overtime, falling just short of a third state title in four years.
continued With another chance to go in front on a penalty corner less than three minutes into the second half, Sarah Liddell, open from a crisp set of passes, flung it wide, and other penalty corners in that sequence did not yield any shots at all.
Yet the Lakers kept making runs at the Whalers, gradually increasing the pressure even as it was playing into the wind and forcing P/B to take both of its time-outs to try and slow things down.
Time and again, the Lakers ran into a wall of Whaler defenders anytime it got near the box. When Cazenovia, denied on 12 penalty corners, earned a 13th with 4:36 left, it used a time-out to try and get it right, but once more the Whalers made the stop.
Near the end of regulation, Cazenovia got its own scare as P/B forced a penalty corner, and Nourse had to make a kick save with two minutes left, with another shot going inches wide.
So again they would go to overtime 0-0, an outright state title just one goal away. In the first of the 10-minutes, seven-on-seven extra periods, the Lakers controlled the early flow, but the Whalers forced a penalty corner in the last minute, only to not get a clean shot out of it.
Heading into the second OT period, the Lakers went all-out trying to win it, twice forcing penalty corners (running the total to 15 for the game), and the Whalers made yet another series of stops.
But as the period wound down, P/B started to make all of the runs, especially Gilbride, whose ball-handling skills had given the Lakers fits all afternoon. Fittingly, it was Gilbride who would make the final move and end the Lakers' hopes of a third state championship in four years.
Despite the defeat, defenders Holly Gamlen and Colleen Stalder both earned spots on the All-Tournament team.
Gamlen and Stalder join Maureen Milmoe, Hannah Light-Olson and Hannah Dain as departing seniors.
But with the likes of Nourse, Rachel McLaughlin, Sarah Willard, Meredith Shephard, Maria Stalder, Ashley Kent, Sarah Liddell and Bella Wheeler returning in 2014, the Lakers are counting on another push for that third state title.