MANLIUS N.Y: The Camden Blue Devils, Sauquoit Valley Indians and Holland Patent Golden Knights each took home Section III Field Hockey Championships on Sunday at Fayetteville-Manlius High School.
Sauquoit and Camden will now square off in the Section III Class C/D combined championship game on Thursday. The winner of that game will earn a berth in the NYSPHSAA Tournament. Holland Patent earned a berth in the State Tournament today.
Sauquoit Valley 1, Weedsport o – Class D Championship Game
The No. 3 Sauquoit Valley Indians upset the No. 1 Weedsport Warriors 1-0 in the Class D finals, while the No. 1 Camden Blue Devils shutout the No. 2 Clinton Warriors 6-0 in the Class C finals.
Sauquoit Valley sneaked into the Class D tournament with 8-7-1 record and were the clear underdogs against the Weedsport Warriors. The Warriors came in with a 10-3-2 overall record and advanced to the finals following a 1-0 victory against Morrisville-Eaton last Sunday.
The Indians kept their season alive following a 3-0 victory over Little Falls last Sunday in the semi-finals. Emily Lasalle had a phenomenal year with the Indians scoring a team high 18 goals. Marley Inglis was in goal today, and she too had a great year stopping 100 shots heading into the game.
Sauquoit Valley head coach Meghan Welcher said that she felt her team had a shot to upset Weedsport.
“They (Weedsport) played strongly against Morrisville-Eaton,” she said, “and we felt comfortable coming into it, but I wasn’t thinking we were going to walk away with this. We knew that we had to spend a week to really prepare and work really hard to take the win. We knew it was not going to be easy.”
But the Indians played tough and kept the game scoreless in the first half. In the second half, Indians’ defender Makenzie Martin scored her first goal of the season to give Sauquoit Valley the 1-0 advantage.
“When there was a bunch of commotion going on in the circle, I didn’t think we were going to get it out,” Martin said, “but we did. It was definitely the perfect time to score that goal.”
“In the first half, I thought that Weedsport was outplaying us, “ Welcher said. “We looked a little sluggish. In the second half we talked about the fact that we needed to go beat them to the ball, and we needed to pass better, and once we started to do the basics that we know how to do, that’s when we kind of stepped up in the second half, was able to put a goal in, and played good defense”.
Sauquoit Valley held onto their lead throughout the rest of the second half and pulled off the 1-0 stunning upset against Weedsport, claiming the Class D title. The Sauquoit Valley coach also said that her team slowly stepped up and improved year after year ever since she took the role as head coach.
“A few years ago when I stepped in, this team had one goal and no wins,” Welcher said, “and we’ve made so much progress. I’m so happy with the work and the time these kids are putting in, and they’ve earned this because they just worked so hard.”
Camden 6, Clinton 0 – Class C Championship Game
The Camden Blue Devils played the Clinton Warriors immediately after the Sauquoit Valley Weedsport game.
Camden entered the game at 14-2 overall and was undefeated against Tri-Valley League opponents (12-0). They easily defeated their semi-final opponent Canastota 6-0 last Sunday. Machenzie Mix and Delaney Alberico led the offense for the Devils both scoring more than 20 goals this season.
The Clinton Warriors were no squash team though, as they came in with a 15-2-1 overall record. The Warriors beat Vernon-Verona Sherrill 1-0 in the semi-finals last Sunday to advance to the championship game. Gianna Trunfio, Section III’s leading goal scorer, is the team’s leading scorer with 26 goals.
“I definitely thought it was going to be a tough match,” Camden head coach Shannon McPheron said. “When you get to this level of play, anything can happen. When you get in the section finals anything can happen.”
The Blue Devils got the 1-0 advantage in the first half when Abby Walker netted her 15th goal of the season. That goal was unassisted.
Still in the first, Camden sophomore Mackenzie Mix got the pass from Delaney Alberico and scored to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
Camden tacked on one more goal late in the first half when Delainey Hebble scored to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 at halftime.
The Blue Devils picked up right where they left off at halftime. Walker scored her second goal of the game and 16th of the season to give Camden a 4-0 lead, and Mix netted her second goal of the day midway through the second to increase the Blue Devils lead by five.
Camden continued to pour more salt on the wound as Walker netted her third goal of the day and 17th of the season to give the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead.
The Blue Devils held onto their lead throughout the rest of the second half and beat Clinton.
“I can’t say enough positive things,” McPheron said again. “I’ve had a lot of great teams in my 18 years at Camden, but this one is probably the best team I’ve ever coached. We broke scoring records at Camden. They work hard, they work in the offseason, and they work together.”
Working together was the key ingredient towards a Blue Devils’ victory, according to Walker.
“I think our whole team has been able to work together to gain the momentum,” Walker said. It’s been building up the entire season to lead to this moment, and hopefully continue on into the regionals. We all played really well together.”
Clinton’s season has come to an end, but the Warriors’ head coach MiQuel Grimm said that she and her team were still proud after the loss.
“I thought we had an amazing season,” Grimm said. “We broke school records. We had a phenomenal season. The girls played really hard all season long, both on and off the field. They were a great team.”
Grimm also said that her team did not have any issues out on the field. Camden was just really good.
“They (Camden) have a lot of talent,” Grimm said, “and we respect them very much for that, so not any issues. We played hard.”
In preparation for next Thursday’s game, the Blue Devils’ coach said that her team is going to play the same way they have been playing all season.
“I really don’t have a strategy,” McPheron said. “It’s just to continue to play the way we’ve been playing, and if we play together as one, we’re going to do very well.”
The Sauquoit Valley coach said that she and her team is also sticking to their agenda.
“We’re going to keep working on a lot of the same stuff that we’ve been working on in the last two weeks,” Welcher said. “Those are the little things that just haven’t really happened yet to us this year. We just keep working to clean stuff up like connecting stick-to-stick passes, controlling the ball, and our communication on the field, so we’re going to do a lot of the same stuff we’ve been all season.”
Holland Patent 3, East-Syracuse Minoa 1 Class B Championship Game
The top seeded Holland Patent Golden Knights overcame a 1-0 first half deficit, tallying 3 times in the second half to defeat the East Syracuse – Minoa Spartans by a score of 3-1.
The come from behind victory gives the Golden Knights the 2018 Section III, Class B Field Hockey Championship.
Haley Acevedo, Hannah Corrigan and Maggie Cummins each scored for Holland Patent in the second half to earn the win.
HP improves to 15-3 on the season and will represent Section III in the NYSPHSAA Regionals on November 3rd against Section IV representative Afton High School. That game will be played at Cicero-North Syracuse.