October 20, 2010
Purple Tigers unable to keep Caz from clinching
There’s Cazenovia, then Cortland, then the rest of the OHSL Division II West’s field hockey teams.
The Lakers made their dominance abundantly clear Tuesday afternoon, clinching their fifth straight league championship with their 59th league win in a row, 4-0 over host Cortland High.
Caz is now 11-0 in the OHSL, 13-1 overall and wraps up league play by hosting Homer Central Friday.
The Purple Tigers finished second in the league at 10-2, their only losses to the Lakers, and are 11-3 overall heading into Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. regular-season finale against non-league opponent Cicero-North Syracuse in a 4:30 p.m. start.
CHS will finish comfortably ahead of the league’s next best teams, third place Port Byron complete with a 7-5 league record and fourth place Weedsport now 5-6 with one game left.
“We definitely played better against them than we did the first time,” CHS coach Jamie Brown said after Tuesday’s game, Caz a 5-0 winner previously. “The bottom line is that you can’t win if you don’t score. Ellen Burr (senior) does a nice job for them stopping everything at midfield and distributing the ball well. She has good vision.
“They’re a better team than us, and in the end it showed. They play with a lot of confidence.”
The Lakers, even without two injured starters — second-leading scorer Jillian Vogl (16 goals and 12 assists for 28 points), a junior forward, and junior midfielder Emmajean Speer — owned the scoreboard and the stat sheet Tuesday afternoon, taking 21 shots in the game to three for Cortland. The hosts didn’t have any first-half shots, and didn’t get off their first shot until less than 10 minutes remained in the game.
Play was in the Purple Tigers’ defense end for a good three-fourths of the contest. Caz also took nine penalty corners and didn’t allow any, while CHS junior goalie Maggie Brown made 16 saves to two for Caz senior netminder Emily Mastropaolo, who along with a strong defense earned her fourth straight shutout, her ninth in the league and 10th overall.
A number of Brown’s saves came in one-on one situations, including a pair of flurries that saw her make consecutive kick saves. She also robbed Caz’s leading scorer, senior midfielder Tori Widrick (25 goals, 16 assists), from point-blank range.
“Maggie kept it close,” Jamie Brown said of her daughter’s standout performance. “She’s played with some of these girls in the off-season, and knows that they’re potent. (Senior) Kaitlyn Drach and (junior) Sarah Hartnett did a good job for us at forward. We shifted things around a little defensively and moved (junior) Carly Cunningham back to sweeper. She did a nice job of quarterbacking the defense.”
“WE TOLD THE GIRLS at halftime to widen it up and take the ball outside, to try move it around and hit the angles with their shots,” Cazenovia coach Lorraine Scheftic said. “Cortland’s goalie is good, and she’s going to get everything that’s in the middle.
“Emily hasn’t been challenged a lot this season, and we set aside some time in practice to give her some work because of that. It’s good for her to go against players like Tori and Jillian. Plus, the defense talks to her during games, and the coaches do, too.”
Mastropaolo credited her defense, the midfielders and coaches for helping to keep her alert during long stretches of inactivity. “We practice hard and try to play hard,” she said. “We know when we get to sectionals we’ll be playing stronger teams every game.”
Senior midfielder Belle Hoagland opened the scoring with her 10th goal of the season 6:03 into the game, putting the ball in the back of the cage from point-blank range in front off an assist from Widrick. The winners’ second goal came with 9:21 left until halftime, Widrick with a high hard shot from the near right wing for her 35th of the season.
“Talking and passing are the keys to our success,” Widrick said. “We always let everyone know where we are, and always encourage each other. We all push each other in practice and practice as hard as we can to make each other better, because we know the sectionals will be tough.”
Senior forward Abby Eschen closed out the scoring with a pair of second-half goals, her 16th and 17th, 1:26 apart, which Jamie Brown termed “the dagger.” Eschen first scored from in front with 18:56 left by controlling a loose ball, the assist going to junior forward Mary Kate Conley. Widrick picked up the assist on the game’s final goal 17:30 before the final whistle, Eschen scoring from a scramble in front.
“Sometimes I wonder if the league is down a little bit,” Scheftic said, “and if we’re going to get a rude awakening in post-season. We only lost two starters from m last year’s team, and have had basically the same team for the last three years. We have 10 seniors this season, though.”
CAZENOVIA JVs beat Cortland 2-0 in a contest shortened to around 35 minutes by darkness. “I was very happy with our play; we played much better than the first time we played them (a 6-2 Laker win),” Purple Tigers coach Maureen White said, her team now 6-5-2. “The score was 1-0 right to the end of the first half, but they had a penalty corner as time expired and scored on that.
“Our team continues to get better every game. I am very happy with everyone’s improvement. Morgan Larkin and Bailey Potter did an nice job on defense, really stepping up to the ball. Makayla Edwards, Erin Brown, Lydia Polley and Taylor Thomas did a nice job on offense.”
Cortland goalie Mikaylea Cerio made seven saves, her team outshot 10-2, while Lauren Devine of Caz was called on to stop one shot.
The Cortland JVs close things out by hosting C-NS at 4:30 p. m. Thursday at Randall Field.
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