Camden blanks Clinton for Class C field hockey title

Published Oct 31, 2018 at 4:00pm

MANLIUS — Different class, same result.

Senior defense/attack Abby Walker scored a three-goal hat-trick as top-seeded Camden shut out second-seeded Clinton 6-0 in the Section III Class C field hockey championship on Oct. 28 at chilly Fayetteville-Manlius High School.

“It feels amazing,” said Walker, who has scored 17 goals and 18 assists this season. “We’ve worked so hard this whole season and all working together too.”

The Blue Devils, who improved to 15-2, advance to play Sauquoit Valley at 5 p.m. on Thursday for the overall Class C/D title at East Syracuse-Minoa High School. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament. Sauquoit Valley won the Class D crown by defeating Weedsport, 1-0.

Camden, which outshot Clinton 11-0, won the Class B title last year and moved down to Class C this year due to school enrollment numbers. Clinton senior goalie Julia Cicchinelli made five saves for the Warriors, while Camden senior goalie Kelsey Barbato recorded the shutout.

Sophomore attack Mackenzie Mix tallied two goals and junior defense Delainey Hebble added the other goal for Camden, which won by a score of 6-0 for the fourth straight time. It was the 10th time this season that the Blue Devils scored six or more goals in a game. 

“I can’t say enough about these players,” said longtime Camden coach Shannon McPheron, who has won nine sectional titles and her first in Class C. “I’ve coached a lot of great teams in my 18 years, but this is the best team I’ve ever coached. We’ve broken school records. They are just a very aggressive group of girls and most of them do a lot of off-season work and really focused on improving their stick skills. Our stick skills and speed is a deadly combination.”

Camden has scored 111 goals this season breaking the record of 101 set in 2014.

Clinton, which ended its campaign at 15-3-1 overall, came into the contest scoring 68 goals and allowing just four. The Warriors tied a school record with 15 shutouts this season.

“We played hard, it just didn’t go our way today,” Clinton coach Miquel Grimm said. “We’re a grass team. If we play on turf all year, it’s a different game.”

Fayetteville-Manlius has an artificial turf surface.

Walker got the scoring started for the Blue Devils at the 17:38 mark of the first half with an unassisted goal. Thirteen minutes later, Mix made it 2-0 by finding the back of the net on an assist from senior Delaney Alberico. Hebble increased Camden’s lead to 3-0 by scoring with just 2:19 remaining in the opening half on an assist from senior midfield Mercedes Currie.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” said Currie, who plans on continuing her field hockey career at Hofstra University next year. “All the work that we put in this season led up to this moment and it feels great. I think it (the first goal) started the momentum of the game and we just kept pushing that all the way through.”

Less than three minutes into the second half, Walker made it 4-0 with her second goal of the game off a penalty corner. Mix made it 5-0 at the 20:45 mark of the second half with her second goal on an assist from Currie and nine minutes later, Walker scored her third goal to close out the scoring with a third assist from Currie. Mix has 25 goals on the season.

“Hopefully we can ride this out for a while,” McPheron added. “If we play together and not as one, we will do very well.”

Six seniors played their final game for Clinton. They were Alexis Trunfio, Allesandra Russell, Jessica Ritz, Madeleine Hearn, Kacie Simzer and Cicchinelli. Warriors sophomore Gianna Trunfio set a single-season school record with 26 goals and Simzer had a school record with five assists in a game.

“We had a phenomenal season,” Grimm said. “We broke school records. We have a very special group from two freshmen up to six seniors. We have a good mix of players. We’re going to lose three starters, but we should be good again next year.”

Clinton freshman Kate Stockwell and Camden’s Mix received the sportsmanship award.

(Editor’s note: Rome Free Academy junior Lauren LaForest contributed to this story.)