Caz field hockey charges into critical stretch

Lakers win trio of games, improve to 10-3

For all the adversity it had faced at different points this fall, the Cazenovia field hockey team still has an opportunity to keep the Onondaga High School League crown if it sweeps back-to-back games against East Syracuse-Minoa and Weedsport this week.

Before Tuesday's rematch of the 2-1 overtime defeat to the Spartans on Sept. 18 that ended a long undefeated streak within the OHSL, the Lakers still had to navigate through a pair of other league games, though it finally got to play on its home fieldf or the first time in three weeks.

In that long-awaited return to Burton Street, Cazenovia toyed with Homer last Wednesday afternoon, rolling to an 8-1 victory over the Trojans.

This was a traditional Laker effort, featuring all kinds of attacks and conversions. Cazenovia was up 4-0 by halftime, and though Jessica DeLine’s goal broke up the shutout, the Lakers still managed to double that output in the last 30 minutes.

Sarah Willard put together a three-goal hat trick, while Rachel McLaughlin scored twice and added a pair of assists. Ashley Kent, Gabby Wheeler and Gabrielle Yates earned one goal apiece, with Sarah Liddell managing an assist.

Cazenovia made one more trip, to Cortland, last Monday night, but this one was far less stressful than others as the Lakers romped past the Purple Tigers 8-1.

Taking 25 shots, Cazenovia sprinted out to a 5-0 halftime lead, and kept building the margin from there, splitting things up in its high-powered attack.

McLaughlin, Kent and Colleen Stalder each finished with two goals. Willard picked up one goal and one assist, while Wheeler also found the net. Emily Saracene picked up Cortland’s lone goal.

The last tune-up, before ESM’s visit, came on Friday, at Cato-Meridian, where the Lakers battled wet conditions and still rolled to a 5-0 victory over the Blue Devils.

Up 3-0 by the time they reached the half, Cazenovia featured a four-pronged attack and took 29 shots against Cato. McLaughlin picked up two goals and one assist, while Willard had a goal and two assists. Stalder managed one goal and one assist as Yates also found the net.

Not only is there the ESM rematch, there’s also a Thursday visit to Weedsport, who gave Cazenovia a test back on Sept. 13 in a 2-0 decision that was head coach Lorraine Scheftic’s 200th win.

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