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Field Hockey: State Tournament Preview
Here is a quick preview of Saturday's state semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. The games start times are in C-A-B order, so Southampton will kick things off with the morning game.
9:30 a.m. - Southampton (10-8) vs. Barker (17-0-1)
The winner of this game advances to face the winner of the Greene/Greenwich game in the final at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Note: Greene competed in the Class A bracket last season. They lost in strokes to Sachem East in the state semifinals. I've been told they are a true "C" school based on enrollment, but has petitioned to move up to other classes. They have won state championshps in each of the three classification... Greenwich was the team that defeated Friends Academy in the state semifinals last year.
1:30 p.m. - Sachem East (20-0) vs. Williamsville North (N/A)
The victor here will take on the winner of the Niskayuna/Liverpool game in the final at noon on Sunday.
Note: Sachem East, the defending champs, had difficulty adjusting to the slick (and half-frozen) Astroturf field at Cicero-North Syracuse last year and the players said then that it contributed to them struggling to score in regulation and overtime. Both of the Flaming Arrows' games in last year's tournament went to penalty strokes. The team now knows what to expect, so we'll see if this factors... Williamsville North beat Ward Melville in the semifinals en route to winning the Class A title in 2010.
5:30 p.m. - Miller Place (19-0) vs. Pittsford Sutherland (16-1-1)
The winner of this game will face the winner of the Lakeland/Maine Endwell game in the final at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Note: It will be interesting to see how Miller Place, a team that plays its home games on grass, adjust Cicero's turf. The Panthers had no problem moving the ball and using its speed on the turf at Adelphi against Manhasset in the L.I. Championship... Pittsford Sutherland is known more for its girls lacrosse program (they're the team Northport beat in the 2011 Class A final), but the field hockey team is strong, too. They just missed making the state tournament last season, falling to Camden in double overtime of the sectional final... Lakeland is the three-time defending Class B state champion. The Hornets beat Garden City in the state final in 2010 and 2011.