Having seen a six-goal margin disappear in Thursday night's game against Skaneateles at Alibrandi Stadium, the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team could have easily fallen apart.
Instead, the Brothers regrouped and, down the stretch, showed both poise and confidence as it went back in front and held on to beat the Lakers, 12-11, to improve to 5-1 on the season.
It was, by far, the biggest win in first-year head coach Mike Stagnitta's brief tenure, for it showed that CBA, with its bevy of first-time starters, could dominate a quality opponent, then deliver in the clutch.
Playing with energy and purpose as the sun set, the Brothers absorbed a wild early exchange to be in a 5-5 tie late in the first quarter.
Then CBA took over, blanking Skaneateles for more than 17 minutes. During that time, the Brothers rattled off six unanswered goals and took an 11-5 lead, the most goals the Lakers had allowed all season.
With Skaneateles concerned about players like Casey Lasda and Nate Frechette, David Biegler emerged as a big threat with three goals and two assists, while Jarred DePalma earned his own three-goal hat trick.
Biegler's third goal, not quite two minutes into the third quarter, would be the last time CBA would convert for a while, giving Skaneateles plenty of time to regroup -- which it did. Kelly Donigan and Keith Buehler each scored twice, slicing the margin to 11-9 by the end of the period.
CBA continued to go back on its heels in the fourth quarter. With 5:34 left in regulation, Tom Schoener scored to make it 11-10, and less than 90 seconds later, Kyle Baier converted and the Lakers had tied it, 11-11.
Somehow, the Brothers kept its composure and made some key defensive stops. Then, with 1:43 left in regulation, Ben Ashenburg broke free on the right side and ripped a hard shot past Laker goalie Josh Kimm to break the tie.