In the course of 24 hours, the entire Section III Class A field hockey picture changed, and Cicero-North Syracuse had a lot to do with that upheaval.
Just a day after Rome Free Academy saw its season-opening 10-game win streak get halted by Camden in a 4-0 defeat, the Northstars made the trip to Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium and stunned defending sectional champion Baldwinsville 4-1.
While roaring to an 8-0 start, the Bees had undergone its closest call at Bragman Stadium when it only beat C-NS 2-1 on 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 on Sept. 30.
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.
While all this was going on, Liverpool was at home, seemingly enjoying an advantage when it hosted an East Syracuse Minoa side that had played New Hartford the night before and needed a goal late in the second half to pull it out 1-0.
Instead of a fatigued opponent, though, the Warriors found the Spartans full of energy and confidence, and lost, 2-0, with both of the goals coming in the first half off the stick of ESM’s Lindsey Russell.
Though it had plenty of time, and plenty of opportunities, to at least get on the board, Liverpool could not do so, constantly thwarted by Spartans goalie Cory Palmer, who made seven saves. The Warriors’ Abbie Bragan had eight saves.
Now, on Thursday night, C-NS would get to face ESM, seeking its seventh win in a row. And the Northstars got it in a 1-0 decision when Lazore scored off a feed from McDonough in the second half to break a long deadlock. Wagner earned five saves to keep the Spartans off the board.
In Saturday’s game against Clinton, C-NS got its eighth consecutive victory. Just as with ESM, the Northstars prevailed 1-0, with Vanessa Wilkins netting the lone goal and Allison Bartlett getting the assist.
This happened after Liverpool took a 3-0 defeat to Fayetteville-Manlius on Wednesday night, the Hornets using goals by Lindsey Kilpatrick, Susan Bansbach and Maddy Duggleby to go on top as Kilpatrick added an assist. Warriors goalie Hannah Dombroski had four saves.
Liverpool would host C-NS Tuesday night, attempting to get even after the Northstars pulled out a 2-1 decision Sept. 20 at Bragman Stadium. After that, C-NS finishes its regular season with back-to-back games against Auburn and Camden, with the Warriors taking on Cortland and Holland Patent.