When the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool field hockey teams gathered for the first time this fall on Sept. 17 at Bragman Stadium, nothing was settled between them in a 0-0 stalemate.
As the scene shifted to LHS Stadium for Thursday night’s rematch, the stalemate continued until the second half, when both sides got on the board – but the Northstars did so twice, enough to beat the Warriors 2-1.
This game was well-timed for C-NS, for it wanted Tuesday’s showdown with Fayetteville-Manlius for the CNY Counties League regular-season title to have full impact. Having an opponent like Liverpool (who had tied F-M 0-0 two days earlier) assured that the Northstars would pay full attention and not look ahead to the Hornets’ visit.
When the first half of the C-NS-Liverpool clash ended 0-0, that meant 100 minutes of field hockey had been played without any offensive breakthrough.
Finally, the drought ended in the second half. Julia Klein got the Warriors on the board with an unassisted goal, but that didn’t prove enough as Marie Aloi and Megan Caveny both sent shots past Megan Evangelista, with Maggie Kennedy and Angelina Florczyk picking up assist.
Before the rematch, Liverpool again looked for a signature win when it visited F-M, and just missed grabbing it. Against a side it lost to 2-1 back on Sept. 7, the Warriors played superb defense, rarely letting F-M get close in the first half and gradually gaining possession.
Liverpool spent large portions of the half in the Hornets’ end, yet was thwarted before it got too close. Gabriella Pascarella had the best chance on a penalty corner late in the half, but F-M goalie Julie Hockenberger stopped her shot.
That pattern carried over into the second half, as F-M could only manage one penalty corner of its own, but the Warriors kept on pressing. Six minutes into the half, Hockenberger had another point-blank stop, and Liverpool never got as close for the rest of regulation.