Cicero Already in exciting and unfamiliar territory, the Niskayuna field hockey team wanted to take its season farther by advancing to the state Class A championship game.
By the smallest margin possible, though, that dream was denied as the Silver Warriors fell to Section III champion Liverpool on penalty strokes in Saturday’s state semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
Even though Niskayuna controlled the entire first half and large portions of the second half and overtime, it could only manage a 2-2 tie with Liverpool.
“We had our opportunities.” said head coach Alison Broomhead.
With a berth against defending champion Sachem East on the line, they went through six rounds without a resolution. Only in the seventh try – when Liverpool’s Emily Burns converted and Niskayuna’s Ali Frary was stopped – did the long battle end.
Niskayuna shut Liverpool down in the opening 30 minutes, rarely letting them move the ball deep downfield as defenders Stephanie Macri, Elizabeth Diefendorf and Carolyn Connors broke up everything.
As for the Silver Warriors, they made long runs but didn’t get a breakthrough until the 25:22 mark. Off a penalty corner, Alexa Angerami took a feed from Carrie Hanks and cranked a shot from the right side past Liverpool goalie Meghan Evangelista.
That one-goal margin did not hold up for long. Liverpool’s most skilled player, Emma Lamison, found space on the right side and hit a hard shot that Silver Warriors goalie Emily King had no chance to stop to tie the game at 1-1 52 seconds into the second half.
And Lamison wasn’t done. Drawing multiple defenders, she still fought through the resistance and with 13:45 left, she hit a shot to the middle that Morgan Thomas deflected into the cage.
Now trailing 2-1, Niskayuna showed its own steel. An all-out attack late in regulation paid off when Frary’s hard shot from the right side glanced off the stick of Gabrielle Litz and beat Evangelista, tying the score 2-2.