Lakers beat Port Byron, share league title

Caz earns top seed in sectional Class C title quest

— By just a couple of goals, the Cazenovia field hockey team missed extending its long Onondaga High School League unbeaten streak and also claiming another outright league title.

Instead, the Lakers had to share the top honors with East Syracuse-Minoa and Weedsport, an honor locked up with last Tuesday afternoon’s 4-1 victory over Port Byron at the Burton Street Elementary School field.

When Cazenovia took the field, it was five days removed from a 2-1 defeat at Weedsport, done without its leading scorer, Rachel McLaughlin. A win there would have locked up first place, but instead the Lakers fell by the same margin as it did at East Syracuse-Minoa on Sept. 18.

Determined to maintain a perfect home mark for 2013, Cazenovia did so by attacking on Port Byron from the outset, steadily earning chances and converting a pair of them to grab a 2-0 halftime lead.

Even though Panthers goalie Amanda Lupo had a sensational outing, with 26 saves, and despite Leanne Maltese scoring for Port Byron in the second half, the Lakers still drew clear.

Four different players – Sarah Willard, Ashley Kent, Gabrielle Yates and Bella Wheeler – earned the four Cazenovia goals, while Hannah Light-Olson picked up an assist.

And now the Lakers could turn its attention to trying to win an eighth consecutive Section III title as the Class C tournament gets underway this week.

As the top seed, the Lakers have a bye in the seven-team bracket straight into Sunday’s semifinal at Fayetteville-Manlius against no. 4 seed Port Byron or no. 5 seed Clinton.

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