CICERO — Barker field hockey has seen plenty of success in sectional and regional play in recent years, to the point where the Lady Raiders have started to shift their gaze toward one day earning a coveted state championship.
Barker came up a little bit short in Saturday afternoon's Class C state semifinal matchup against Cazenovia, but by no means looked overmatched. The Lady Raiders battled to a scoreless tie through regulation, and through the fist overtime. Cazenovia's Ashley Kent scored off a penalty corner with six minutes left in double-overtime, and the Lady Lakers won 1-0 in a defensive-minded contest at Cicero-North Syracuse HS.
The goal of a state title will not be reached this year, but the Barker program proved on Saturday that it can compete with anyone. After all, Cazenovia won state titles in both 2010 and 2011.
Barker goaltender Caitlyn Mason was the star of the game and was honored accordingly after the game, named to the all-tournament team. Mason made a series of kick saves and diving saves throughout the afternoon, particularly late in regulation and in the first overtime, thwarting a series of penalty corner opportunities awarded to Cazenovia.
The Lady Lakers had the pronounced advantage in time of possession and time spent in the offensive zone, but Mason's work ensured that Barker would have the opportunity to emerge victorious if it could find the back of the net.
But unfortunately for the Lady Raiders, Cazenovia was just a bit too strong defensively. The Lady Lakers stayed aggressive all over the field and kept Barker from generating much of an attack, despite spirited efforts from Lady Raider leaders like Olivia Denny, Melissa Grosshans, and Heather Mason, as well as tough play from the likes of Gabby Clare, Erin Greenwald, and Alexandra VeRost.