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CBA girls lax opens, takes out Westhill

So begins, for the Christian Brothers Academy girls lacrosse team, yet another quest to dislodge Skaneateles from its long-held throne.

Once again, the Brothers found itself in the Section III Class C finals a season ago against Skaneateles. Once again, the Lakers prevailed, forcing head coach Doug Sedgwick and his players to try and close the gap through months of off-season preparation.

That hard work done, CBA began the 2008 season with lots of reason to think that it could end its six-year championship drought.

The attack features two college-bound senior stars, M.E. Lapham (going to the University of Connecticut) and Brittany Brigandi (University of Massachusetts), plus sophomore Katie Webster. They are backed by an experienced defense that includes Mary Catanzarita, Amanda Koval and junior goalie Emma Taylor.

Together, these players made a strong opening-night impression last Thursday, when CBA went to the turf at Chittenango High School and beat Westhill 13-8.

Following a fast-paced exchange that consumed much of the first half, the Brothers, up 4-2, faced its first crisis point when Carolyn Clark and Katie Doherty scored two goals in a span of 13 seconds to tie it 4-4, leading Sedgwick to call a time-out.

Whatever was said in that break must have registered, for Westhill did not score again for nearly 14 minutes, a drought that extended well into the second half.

As a whole, the Brothers' defense did a splendid job containing North Carolina-bound Westhill star Laura Zimmerman, who had just one assist all night.

Meanwhile, CBA got four unanswered goals to close the first half, two of them in the last minute. The trend continued in the second half as the Brothers eventually built a 13-4 edge before easing up late.

Brigandi and Webster both torched the Westhill defense for five goals, while Lapham and Gwen Withers each had one goal and one assist. Eighth-grader Taylor Gait, in her varsity debut, earned a goal, too.

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