Though the Cazenovia girls soccer team is assured of going back to the Section III Class B playoffs, it wanted to head there with both momentum and confidence that it could keep up with the top contenders.
The Lakers played last Monday against Holland Patent and shut out the Golden Knights 3-0. Those three goals came from three different players – Jamie Joseph, Allie Vanetti and Brenna Hughes, with Joseph contributing an assist. Kirsten Underwood also had an assist as Hannah Matteson stopped all eight HP shots she faced.
Home again on Thursday night to face Jordan-Elbridge, Cazenovia celebrated Senior Night and would dominate from start to finish and earn another shutout, blanking the Eagles 5-0 as it took 25 shots overall.
Hughes didn’t waste much time, netting two goals in the game’s first five minutes, each of them assisted by Joseph. Then Joseph converted to make it 3-0, and the Lakers kept going from there, Joseph assisting on Hughes’ third goal that completed the hat trick and finding the net a second time, too.
Hughes put together her first three-goal hat trick of the season, with Joseph assisting on two of those scoring plays and netting the other two goals in the process. Taylor Tillison also picked up an assist.
This busy week concluded with Cazenovia taking on state Class C no. 8-ranked Sauquoit Valley on Saturday afternoon, and proving that its battles against competition from larger schools had made them better, as evidenced by a 3-0 victory over the Indians.
Midway through the first half, the Lakers grabbed a 1-0 lead with Joseph’s unassisted goal. It stayed that way until the 52nd minute, when Allie Vanetti broke through and scored off a feed from Underwood, and 10 minutes later Vanetti struck again, the first two-goal outing of her varsity career as Grace Rajkowski picked up the assist.
Meanwhile, Cazenovia’s defense received plenty of pressure from Sauquoit, yet turned it all away, Hannah Matteson finishing with eight saves.
While that was going on, Chittenango hoped that, in its trip to Westhill, the state Class B no. 4-ranked Warriors would be a bit tired in the wake of a thrilling 4-2 win over Marcellus earlier in the week.
But Westhill, who had shut out 10 straight opponents before the Marcellus game, jumped to a 3-0 halftime lead on the Bears and went on to claim a 4-0 decision. Chittenango goalie Ava Dardaris made 10 saves as Katelyn Karleski led the Warriors, scoring twice as single goals went to Megan O’Reilly and Lauren Marshall.
On Wednesday night, the Bears get its shot at Cazenovia, with the Lakers home Friday to close the regular season against Altmar-Parish-Williamstown as the Bears travel to Marcellus that same night.