Caz athletes earn medals at Empire Games

The success of Cazenovia lacrosse players Chris Nourse and Kara Cannizzaro highlighted the presence of local athletes at last weekend's 31st Empire State Games in Binghamton.

Nourse was a steady, solid presence for Central's scholastic men at SUNY-Binghamton as it battled through a tightly played tournament to reach Sunday's championship game before taking home the silver medal.

Central's men began with easy wins over New York City (12-3) and Adirondack (12-4), only to stumble Friday in a 6-5 loss to Western. When it fell to Long Island 7-6 later that night, Central was 2-2 and needed a win over Hudson Valley Saturday night.

Delivering in a third straight one-goal decision, Nourse and his Central teammates beat Hudson Valley 8-7, and pulled out in front of a three-way tie-breaker with Western and Hudson Valley for second place (all were 3-2) by having a greater goal differential in its victories.

This led to Sunday's final, and a rematch with Long Island -- but this one would not be as close. Long Island streaked to a 6-2 halftime lead, then used six unanswered goals in the third quarter to pull away and prevail 14-3, leaving Central with second place.

As for Central's scholastic women, Cannizzaro would prove to be one of its leading stars throughout the ESG tournament at Alumni Stadium behind Binghamton Middle School, earning a bronze medal in the process.

Though Central opened Thursday with a 12-11 overtime loss to Western, Cannizzaro still had two goals and two assists, including the tying goal with seven seconds left in regulation that sent it to OT. Later that day, her four goals helped Central beat Hudson Valley 12-10.

On Friday, Cannizzaro gained two goals and two assists in Central's 9-6 conquest of Adirondack, then rested during a 20-0 shutout of New York City before a dramatic Saturday battle with Long Island.

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