One defeat to a high-quality opponent was not going to make fans of the Baldwinsville field hockey team worry.
On the other hand, the Bees’ 4-1 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse last Tuesday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium had to cause some alarm for many reasons. A once-unstoppable attack had gone relatively quiet, while B’ville’s defense had surrendered 10 goals in two games.
On its way to an 8-0 start, the Bees had undergone its closest call at Bragman Stadium when it only beat C-NS 2-1 Sept. 13. Not only did the Northstars have a belief in itself from that close battle, it was catching B’ville in a vulnerable spot following its 6-1 defeat to reigning state Class C champion Whitney Point the Saturday before.
C-NS would continue the Bees’ misery during a stunning first-half surge. Led by Jamie Wagner, the Northstars pounced on B’ville’s defense and didn’t let up until it had built a 3-0 advantage by intermission.
Another goal was tacked on in the second half as Ally Wagner turned back everything except Amanda Strenk’s second-half goal, finishing with 15 saves overall. Meanwhile, Jamie Wagner converted twice, with single goals going to Bailey Lazore and Allie Ball as Julia McDonough added an assist.
B’ville would not get much of a chance to recover, since on Thursday it would have to make a trip to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill. Here, the skid ended as the Bees recorded four unanswered goals in the first half and cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Red Devils.
Strenk and Emma Brushingham, each with one goal and one assist, led a well-balanced offense where Maty Cate McKee, Mackenzie Wodka and Claire Vredenburg each found the net, too. Lauren Brushingham also earned an assist. McKenna Berry netted VVS’s lone goal in the second half.
Back home on Friday night, B’ville was gearend up as another powerful foe, Cazenovia, would arrive in town sporting an eight-game win streak and one of the area’s best players in Princeton-bound senior Zoe Shephard.
And the game didn’t disappoint, turning into a back-and-forth classic where the Bees rallied numerous times, yet could not get in front and ultimately took a 5-4 overtime defeat to the Lakers.
Throughout the first half, there were chances on both ends, with each side converting once. Shephard’s goal right before the horn helped push Cazenovia in front, 2-1, going to the break.
Instead of discouraging the Bees, it simply brought out a higher gear, something the Lakers had to match as the pace quickened. Each time Cazenovia went in front, B’ville answered, to the point that, at the end of regulation, they were tied, 4-4.
As long as the teams played at full strength, B’ville seemed to have the advantage, peppering the Lakers’ defense. It required 24 saves from Cazenovia goalie Shea Flannery to keep things close. Lauren Brushingham piled up three assists, with Strenk notching a pair of goals. McKee and Emma Brushingham had the other goals. Bees goalie Hailey Boda had eight saves.
Even with that, in the seven-on-seven OT session, Cazenovia flourished, prevailing as Shephard notched her fifth point of the night, having netted three goals and assisted on tallies by Mikaylee Whalen and Katie Ammann. Whalen also got credit for an assist.
Having lost three of four, the Bees could not afford a rough last week of the regular season as, following Monday’s game with New York Mills, Fayetteville-Manlius pays a Wednesday visit, with things wrapping up Saturday against another Class A contender, Rome Free Academy, who was unbeaten before falling last Monday to Camden.