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Sectional field hockey: Niskayuna is driven by overtime defeats

Monday, October 22, 2012
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The Niskayuna field hockey team had opportunities to add to its Section II championship resume the last two seasons, only to suffer heartbreaking defeats.

“The girls want to change their fate,” Silver Warriors coach Alison Broomhead said. “They remember what it was like last year to lose that game. They don’t want last year to happen again.”

Niskayuna was riding a 15-game winning streak when it lost to Shenendehowa in last fall’s Class A final in overtime, 2-1. The Silver Warriors and also bowed to the Lady Plainsmen in the 2010 final in overtime, 3-2.

“They understand the regular season is one thing, and this is another,” said Broomhead, whose team is seeded No. 1 for the Class A tournament after going a Suburban Council-best 13-1 (14-2 overall). “It’s a new challenge for us.”

Niskayuna overcame every challenge thrown its way during an 11-game winning streak to open the season, and then hit a rough patch with one-goal setbacks against Saratoga Springs and Kingston sandwiched around a victory over Shaker. Niskayuna then beat Shenendehowa and Bethlehem to end regular season play.

“Losing those games reinforced what we talk about a lot. You can’t step on the field and expect to win,” said Broomhead. “They have to put 110 percent into every moment. We don’t want them to leave anything on the field.”

Niskayuna won the 2009 Class A title, and lost in the 2007 final in Broomhead’s first season as head coach. Carol Baldwin’s team claimed the school’s first sectional championship in 2006.

Niskayuna has a quarterfinal bye and will host Thursday’s Col­umbia (No. 5, 4-10) vs. Bethlehem (No. 4, 7-7) winner a week later. In Thursday’s other large-school quarterfinals, Saratoga (No. 2, 12-2) will host Guilderland (No. 7, 1-13), and Shenendehowa (No. 3, 9-5) will entertain Shaker (No. 3-11).

Shenendehowa is striving to become the first the first Class A team to capture three straight titles since Saratoga in 1992-94. Shenendehowa, Niskayuna and Saratoga have been the participants in each Class A final since 2006.

“Those [Class A] teams beat the heck out of each other all year and play so many close games,” said Warrensburg coach and Section II field hockey chair Maryann Bump. “Who knows who will make it to the final? It’s a coin flip.”

“It’s who shows up to play that day,” said Saratoga coach Jo-Anne Hostig.

Johnstown (12-0) is the No. 1 Class B seed and defending champion, and will host the winner of today’s Gloversville (3-9) at Scotia-

Glenville (3-9) play-in game in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.

Johnstown has won 15 straight games since opening the season with a shutout loss to Shenendehowa. Section II goal-scoring leader Ashley Dona connected 36 times during that victory streak, and is three goals from tying Johnstown’s one-season record set by Kayla May in 2006.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (No. 2, 8-6) hosts Ichabod Crane (No. 7, 4-4) in one of the other Class B quarters Wednesday. The Spartans signature wins during the regular season came against Saratoga and Camden, a 2011 state semifinalist.

Greenwich (8-0) is the No. 1 seed and defending champion in Class C. The Class C quarters are Tuesday.

All three Section II finals will be contested at Shenendehowa’s Steuerwald Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 4. Shenendehowa will also be the state regional site on Nov. 10, when the Section II champs host the Section I-IX winners.

SECTION II TOURNAMENT

CLASS A

Quarterfinals

Thursday

1. Niskayuna (1-13), bye; 5. Columbia (4-10) at 4. Bethlehem (7-7), 3:30 p.m.

7. Guilderland (1-13) at 2. Saratoga Springs (12-2), 3:30 p.m.; 6. Shaker (3-11) at 3. Shenendehowa (9-5), 4 p.m.

Semifinals

Thursday, Nov. 1

At highest remaining seeds, 3 p.m.

Championship

Sunday, Nov. 4

Semifinal winners at Shenendehowa, 4:30 p.m.

CLASS B

Play-in

Today

Gloversville (3-9) at Scotia-Glenville (3-9), 4:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals

Wednesday

8. Gloversville-Scotia-Glenville winner at 1. Johnstown (12-0), 5 p.m.; 5. South Glens Falls (7-5) at 4. Glens Falls (8-4), 3:30 p.m.

7. Ichabod Crane (4-4) at 2. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (8-6), 3:30 p.m.; 6. Emma Willard (7-1) at 3. Queensbury (9-3), 3:30 p.m.

Semifinals

Wednesday, Oct. 31

At highest remaining seeds, 3 p.m.

Championship

Sunday, Nov. 4

Semifinal winners at Shenendehowa, 2:30 p.m.

CLASS C

Quarterfinals

Tuesday

8. Coxsackie-Athens (2-6) at 1. Greenwich (8-0), 3:30 p.m.; 5. Corinth (4-4) at 4. Warrensburg (6-0), 3:30 p.m.

7. Granville (2-6) at 2. Hoosick Falls (6-2), 3:30 p.m.; 6. Schuylerville (4-4) at 3. Taconic Hills (7-1), 3:30 p.m.

Semifinals

Tuesday, Oct. 30

At highest remaining seeds, 3 p.m.

Championship

Sunday, Nov. 4

Semifinal winners at Shenendehowa, 12:30 p.m.

 
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