Even when it ventured all the way to last year's state Class C final, the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team left behind a bit of unfinished work.
The Brothers did not beat LaFayette in either of their 2006 regular-season meetings, a fact CBA could not correct in the post-season, since the Lancers lost to Skaneateles in the Section III Class C semifinal.
A year later, that's no longer a concern. Relying on terrific defense and more brilliant work in goal by Zack Palmieri, the Brothers finally subdued LaFayete in an 8-5 decision last Thursday at Henninger High School's Sunnycrest Field.
CBA gave up a home date at Alibrandi Stadium and moved to Henninger to insure better footing in case it rained. The rain held off -- but the Brothers proved to be relentless.
After an early exchange of goals, CBA took charge when, in a span of seven seconds in the first quarter, Jack Harmatuk scored and Ben Ashenburg scooped up the ensuing faceoff, charged right in and got his own goal to make it 3-1.
From that point forward, the Brothers kept the Lancers in catch-up mode. Harmatuk was responsible for this from the offensive standpoint, landing all four of his goals by the early part of the third quarter to push his team to a 6-3 lead.
Otherwise, the defense ruled. Fast, big and physical, the back line of Matt Germain, Andrew D'Agostino, Kris Estabrook and Mike Bulman ran step-for-step with LaFayette attackers like Zach Guy, Josh Amidon and Derek Printup, offering little open space.
And if that didn't work, Palmieri could make the stop. Many of his 20 saves were of the close-up variety, causing a massive amount of frustration for LaFayette.
Throughout the second half, the Brothers' lead never dipped below three goals, as Jovan Miller and Devin Daly put home insurance goals in the fourth quarter. Only a sterling performance by LaFayette goalie Tony Pizuto (he made 19 saves) kept things from being more lopsided.