Nov 11, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In a few swift strokes, Cazenovia’s two-year reign as state Class C field hockey champions, along with its 40-game win streak, all ended.
Greene, from the Section IV ranks, controlled matters from start to finish against the Lakers, leading to a 4-0 defeat in Saturday’s regional final at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
“We expected (Greene) to be that good,” said Cazenovia head coach Lorraine Scheftic. “Their stick work and passing was excellent. We did all the right things, but I didn’t detect any weakness on their team.”
This was no ordinary regional opponent. Greene spent two decades in the Class A and B ranks, winning six state titles (the latest in 2009), before getting moved down to Class C this fall, just in time to end the Lakers’ championship reign.
The Trojans took control from the start with two penalty corners in the first four minutes, setting a quick and aggressive tempo. On the third try 6:58 into the game, Jahna Driscoll’s point-blank shot zipped past Lauren Devine, the first goal the Lakers had allowed in the entire post-season.
Even this didn’t arouse Cazenovia, who took a time-out three minutes later. And for a brief while, the Lakers started to attack and also settled down on the defensive end, doing a better job breaking up Greene’s charges.
Rarely, though, did Cazenovia really get close to the Greene net, courtesy of a tough and efficient Greene defense that deflected away balls before t hey got near the net. Only once did Trojans goalie Julia Amell have to make a stop.
Seconds before halftime came a pivotal moment. Greene’s Emily Gascin charged up from the right side, feeding it to Driscoll, who sent another one of her bullet shots into the cage.
Instead of a manageable one-goal margin, Cazenovia was down 2-0 at the break, a position it was not used to.
“That was a big goal,” said Scheftic.
The Lakers tried to get something going in the second half, only to meet more Trojan resistance, and Greene continued to use it superior stick skills to put Cazenovia away.
At the 9:39 mark of the second half, Driscoll carried the ball deep into the Lakers’ end, giving a timely feed to Gascon, whose shot beat Devine, and made it 3-0.
It took more than 40 minutes for Cazenovia to earn a penalty corner, and two of those chances came up empty, snuffing out whatever slim chances the Lakers had to come back.
Just to be sure, Greene’s Emma Anderson tacked on a goal with 7:57 left, fed by Katherine Klecha.
Even though another state title proved elusive, Scheftic said her players, including eight departing seniors (Devine, Nicole Chiarello, Emily Willard, Rachel Nourse, Maggie Carpenter, Jessy Silfer, Maggie Namy and Annika Christensen), could boast of a lot of accomplishments.
“We’ve had a target on our back the last two years, and we’ve handled it well,” she said. “I’m proud of how far this program has come.”