FIELD HOCKEY: A TESTED WINDSOR SQUAD WILL FACE ONCE-BEATEN ROME FA IN STATE QUARTERFINAL
By ROB CENTORANI
Broome County East Sports Report
No one on Windsor's field hockey team was alive the last time the Black Knights entered state competition.
In that sense, one could call Windsor inexperienced.
But the Black Knights will also enter Sunday's Class A state quarterfinal against Section 3's Rome Free Academy under the banner of a Section 4 champion. That means something in field hockey, as Section 4 traditionally plays the sport better than anyone in New York State.
Game time is 1 p.m. at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, with Windsor coming off a 2-0 victor over Maine-Endwell in the Section 4 final that saw a pair of middle-schoolers -- Elsie Conway and Vienna McCombs -- score for the Black Knights.
RFA (17-1), also the Black Knights, defeated Cicero-North Syracuse, 1-0, to earn a Section 3 title for the first time since 2009.
Twin sisters Fiona and Isibeal McMahon -- juniors who'll play in college at the Division I level -- combined on the goal, with the former finishing a pass in overtime.
"Some of the girls on their team play in the offseason with our girls," said Windsor coach Taylor Lippolis, whose team last won a sectional title in 2004. "I think from a coaching and scouting perspective, it's good for us because we know what to expect. We know their style of play. In preparation, it's not just me telling them the scouting report and watching film, they have a little more knowledge about the style of play."
Lippolis added: "They have a set of twins who really dominate their play. We've played with those twins (in the offseason), so we're familiar with them. I think that overall that we have a well-rounded team. We'll be solid and I think the other team will be solid as well. I think it's kind of a perfect meeting in terms of skill between us and them, so I'm excited about it."
Windsor brings a 14-3 record into the game. All three of the setbacks came against two-time defending Class C state champion Whitney Point and two of those games were decided after the clock in regulation hit zeros. Windsor also has a 2-1 victory over Vestal, which won the Class B state tile last season and will be competing Sunday at V-V-S as well.
"I think that our strength of schedule throughout the season is very challenging so it prepares us for these big games," Lippolis said. "We had really exciting and tough games against Whitney Point and those were our three losses throughout the season. We have three losses, but we've only lost to one team.
"Even in those losses, they were important for us to play to prepare for the postseason. We've played the best team in the state three times, period."
Senior Anna Finn, Windsor's all-time leading goal scorer with more than 100 and also a D-I recruit, leads the squad, offensively, but she's not Windsor's lone threat.
"We have some really good seniors that we're going to miss, but we're starting two middle-schoolers, a ninth-grader and a lot of sophomores," Lippolis said. "So in regard to our seniors, we'll miss them, but we have a lot of talent in the pipeline."
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