F-M field hockey stopped by B’ville; ESM reaches Class B final

first_imgThe Bees were 8-9 going into the game, but that record did not reflect the circumstance that made this game dangerous for F-M, starting with the mere fact that the game was at B’ville’s Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium.Also, the Bees had played a first-round sectional game on Oct. 23, defeating Auburn 5-1, while F-M was off for nearly two weeks.Plus, both regular-season games between these sides were close, the Hornets prevailing by 1-0 and 2-1 margins, so B’ville knew that it could compete with F-M. A top seed in a post-season tournament guarantees only that the team which holds that honor will get severe challenges from anyone wanting to knock the favorites from its perch.East Syracuse Minoa, the no. 1 seed in the field hockey Section III Class B playoffs, was quite aware of this dynamic even before it entered post-season play – and if it wasn’t, what happened to Fayetteville-Manlius in a similar situation would prove instructive.Even with its 12-1-1 record and Salt City Athletic Conference regular-season title, the Hornets were unable to get out of Monday’s sectional semifinals, beaten 1-0 by no. 4 seed Baldwinsville. Tags: ESMF-Mfield hockeycenter_img The Bees were able to have a fair amount of scoring chances during the first half as F-M struggled to get on track. One of those paid off when, just past the midway point of the half, a penalty corner saw Leah Tuch pass it to Emma Brushingham, and the senior backhanded a shot past Hornets goalie Claire Grenis.That one-goal margin held until halftime, but once intermission was over F-M began an all-out attack to try and get even.Pinned in its own end, the Bees had to surrender 11 penalty corners. It took every bit of effort from the Bees’ defense to withstand all of these chances and, when it was needed, goalie Sarah Smiley was strong, too, officially credited with four saves, but also steering other shots just wide of the target, all the way to the final horn.ESM, meanwhile, would have to travel to Central Valley Academy to take part in Tuesday’s Class B sectional semifinal against no. 4 seed Whitesboro, but easily handled the assignment, prevailing 4-0 for the Warriors.This match featured perhaps the quickest scoring burst in sectional playoff history.Already, the Spartans had a 1-0 lead thanks to Maggie Saunders’ goal 7:05 into the first half, and were ably protecting that lead when, with less than three minutes left in the half, Rileigh White converted on a penalty corner off a feed from Mary Searle.Right after, ESM had gained possession again and, on a breakaway, Grace Stone’s hard shot found the net a mere seven seconds following White’s tally. What was a close contest was suddenly 3-0, and Whitesboro never recovered.A last-minute goal by Searle helped seal ESM’s berth in this Sunday’s final at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill against defending champion Holland Patent, who shut out Cortland 2-0 in the other semifinal game.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img

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