Everyone on the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team this spring was determined to take the final step to the program's first-ever state championship.
That hunger stemmed from the team's surprising run to the state title game in 2006. Cold Spring Harbor beat CBA 13-5 for that crown, but with a big returning cast in '07, the Brothers were confident that no one would catch them.
But all of those dreams were thwarted last Tuesday night at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, where CBA fell behind in the Class C regional final against Corning East and never caught up, falling to the Trojans 10-8.
This abrupt and unhappy ending came at the tail end of a busy stretch for CBA's players. After knocking off LaFayette for the Section III Class C championship on May 30, the Brothers took a long bus ride to Potsdam to play (and beat) Canton in the first regional playoff game on June 2. A day later, 15 seniors on the team participated in CBA's graduation ceremony.
Once it got through this combination of competition and commencement, the Brothers had to deal with Corning East, who had reached two of the last three state Class B finals before being moved down to Class C this season.
That change in class did little to sway the Trojans -- until it lost on May 21 to Corning West, the first time in 41 years (and 97 meetings) that Corning East had lost to its bitter crosstown rivals. Stung by that experience, the Trojans regrouped and has played with fury ever since -- a fury CBA would quickly feel.
In cold and wet conditions better suited to March than June, the Trojans pulled out in front, 2-0, in the opening minutes of play, as Mitch Keefer and Kellen Simmons both sneaked low shots past CBA goalie Zack Palmieri.