Jun 02, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Once upon a time, the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team was the upstart trying to force its way into the elite ranks in Section III Class C play.
Now it was the two-time defending champion Brothers in the role of established power, trying to fleck away the dreams of upstart Homer in last Saturday’s Class C semifinal at Coyne Field.
And it did so, with relative ease.
CBA’s 13-6 conquest of the Trojans was an impressive effort in all phases of the game, and it gives the Brothers a chance at a sectional three-peat Wednesday when it returns to Coyne and plays Skaneateles, who upset state no. 1-ranked LaFayette 9-8 in its semifinal game.
Though they had played in separate leagues during the season, CBA was well aware of how Homer, 4-14 a season ago, had risen to an 18-2 mark, earned the no. 2 seed for the Class C playoffs and had devastated Cazenovia 9-2 in the quarterfinal round.
With a decided advantage in post-season experience, CBA had the perfect answer when Homer’s Carl Zimmerman opened the scoring 1:44 into the game. Matt Dugan won the ensuing face-off and, just nine seconds later, Casey Lasda answered to tie it, 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, Lasda converted again, giving the Brothers a lead it would not relinquish. The margin grew to 7-2 in the second period as CBA, aggressive on both sides of the ball, simply pushed Homer around.
To its credit, the Trojans made a run in the game’s middle stages and, when Conner Ferrito scored 4:22 into the third quarter, cut the Brothers’ lead to 7-5.
But any danger faded away when, within a span of 90 seconds after Ferrito scored, Lasda and Nate Frechette both landed goals, doubling the margin to 9-5, and CBA would pull away from there.
Overall, Lasda had five goals, with Jared DePalma gaining a three-goal hat trick and Frechette adding three assists to go with his pair of goals. David Biegler and Tom Trasolini joined Ashenburg in the one-goal column, all set up by Dugan and his domination of the face-offs.
Also, the Brothers defense did a strong job from start to finish. Matt Germain, David Marx, Noah Kotlove and the rest of CBA’s back line never let Homer get comfortable in its attack, and Griffin Ferrigan had one of the best outings of his career, turning away 23 of the 29 shots he faced.
The Brothers’ playoff run began last Tuesday, at Alibrandi Stadium, when it kept command throughout its opening-round game against no.1 4 seed Lowville and beat the Red Raiders 15-9.
That score was a bit deceptive, for CBA raced out to a 6-1 first-quarter lead, then kept on producing until it had a 15-5 advantage at the end of the third period.
Frechette had three goals and three assists. Trasolini also had a three-goal hat trick. David Biegler and Ashenburg matched Frechette’s output of three assists, as Biegler and Ty Murphy both scored twice. Aaron Barry, Marc Basile, Bobby Morris and Dugan joined Ashenburg with single tallies.
Knowing that it would need to play three times in five days if it wanted to reach the finals, the Brothers rested starters in the fourth quarter.
This led to Thursday’s Class C quarterfinal at Alibrandi against no. 6 seed New Hartford, who had handled Jordan-Elbridge 14-7 in its opening-round game.
It proved to be a close, hard-fought contest until the fourth quarter, when CBA’s depth and ability to finish off scoring plays led to a 12-7 victory over the Spartans.
All through the first half, the two sides traded blows. The Brothers, intending to speed things up, didn’t see that work in the early going as it played to a 3-3 tie. New Hartford slowed it down and, at halftime, was still even 4-4.
Only in the third quarter did CBA go in front for good, as it started to find gaps in the stingy Spartan defense and convert with regularity — especially in a fourth quarter where it outscored New Hartford 5-2 to seal it.
Ashenburg led the charge, with four goals and two assists, while Lasda gained there goals and two assists. Biegler found the net twice as Frechette and Dugan each had one goal and one assist, and DePalma scored, too. Ferrigan made nine saves, previewing the mastery he would have against Homer.