CICERO – It was an all too familiar sight last Thursday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School: another victory for the Lady Mustangs, their 17th of the season; another field hockey Section III championship, their fourth straight title; and another shot at Morrisville-Eaton, their third in as many years.
With a 2-0 victory over Clinton, Mount Markham won the school’s fourth field hockey sectional championship – and a shot at redemption. Morrisville-Eaton, the Class D champions for the third straight time with a 2-1 win over Little Falls, have beaten the Mustangs in the C-D playoff game the past two years, and the two teams were scheduled to play this past Tuesday, at Rome Free Academy, at 6 p.m. The winner of that game goes on to the regional championship contest with a trip to the state final four as the prize.
Mount Markham head coach Dawn Yerkie said the more the Mustangs win, the harder it gets. “There’s that pressure. You don’t want to be the first team to lose that (streak), but we have a great group of seniors this year, and there was no way they were not going to be sectional champs,” Yerkie said.
Mount Markham got off to a fast start when senior Janine Lewis scored 1:09 into the game on a penalty corner. Two other seniors were a big part of the goal, as Meghan Milewski took the corner, passing to Erin Murphy, who laid a nice touch pass to Lewis for the score.
“It was an out-pass to Erin Murphy and she stick-stopped it, and I just drove it in,” said Lewis, who also assisted on the game’s other goal.
With 8:46 left in the game, Lewis took a pass from Murphy, dribbled up to the 15 yard line, and passed to Paige Atwell, who was standing at the right corner of the goal. Atwell deflected the ball into the cage for an insurance goal. “I was at the right place at the right time,” Atwell said.
The Mustangs dominated Clinton (8-9-1), particularly in the second half when the Warriors were unable to get a shot on goal. “We actually were playing a good game (in the first half),” Yerkie said. “We just weren’t going to the ball as quickly as we can. We weren’t making good use of our speed.”
The Warriors had a couple of key injuries to its defense. Jordan Bunger missed the entire game, and Laura Brockett was injured in the first half and unable to return. “The forwards were working well together,” Clinton head coach Heather Hillage said. “The idea was to get the ball to (forward) Margot Tennant, who can get it down the field, but we had a hard time getting the ball to her because of all the injuries.”
Mount Markham outshot the Warriors, 14-1, 10-0 in the second half.
Goalie Molly Foye had eight saves for Clinton, and Grace Riker needed no saves for the Mustangs, who improved to 17-3.