May 02, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Before it could state its case as a Section III Class C championship contender, the Cazenovia girls lacrosse had to beat someone big, somewhere, to prove that it could do later on when it counted more.
That moment finally arrived last Thursday at Alibrandi Stadium, where the state Class C no. 9-ranked Lakers endured a wild, back-and-forth battle with no. 7-ranked Christian Brothers Academy and rode Kara Cannizzaro’s overtime heroics to a 19-18 victory over the Brothers.
Each side had a lot to prove — Cazenovia because it needed a signature win, CBA because it had just gone through losses to fellow contenders Skaneateles and Westhill and could ill afford another setback.
To that end, the two sides began an exhilarating contest where neither team would be up by more than three goals, and a thrust from one side would be quickly answered.
So it went, through the entire first half. The Lakers faced deficits of 3-1, 6-4, and 7-5, but came back every time. Chelsea McKillop’s goal just seven seconds before halftime allowed the Lakers to take an 8-8 tie to the break.
And Cazenovia continued to surge early in the second half, as McKillop, Sarah Wright and Gabby Jaquith accounted for the goals that put the Lakers ahead 12-9.
Slowly, CBA answered back, and the pace quickened even more, to the point that whichever team won the draw seemed certain to score seconds later.
The Lakers got caught at 14-14, then fell behind on M.E. Lapham’s goal with 7:46 left in regulation. They exchanged goals and Cazenovia still found itself down, 16-15, as time began to wind down.
Rejected on numerous attacks at the net, the Lakers kept pushing. Finally, Wright fired home the game-tying goal with 1:04 to play, and when freshman goalie Brodie Shepard made two clutch stops in the final seconds, the game went into a pair of three-minute overtime periods.
In the overtime, Cannizzaro took over. Already, the junior had two goals and three assists on the day, a bit below her average point total. But she more than made up for it now.
With 30 seconds left in the first OT period, Cannizzaro made a steal, charged to the net and ripped a shot past CBA goalie Emma Taylor, but it didn’t stop there.
At the start of the second OT, Cannizzaro won the center draw, then ran right down and nailed her fourth goal. For good measure, she scored with a minute to play to get an OT hat trick.
As it turned out, Cazenovia needed each of those goals, as CBA scored twice in that final minute before the Lakers could celebrate.
For the day, Wright put up six goals, as Cannizzaro finished with five goals and three assists. Jaquith earned three goals and three assists, as Niki Holmes also converted. In defeat, the Brothers had Brittany Brigandi produce seven goals and one assists, and Lapham finish with five goals and three assists.
Just before going to CBA, the Lakers got another chance to put up lots of offense in last Tuesday’s game against Onondaga, pounding the Tigers 21-10.
On its way to a 15-5 halftime edge, Cazenovia attacked at will, and ultimately gave five different players chances to earn hat tricks.
Cannizzaro, earning four goals and five assists, helped in many ways. Wright scored five times, while Kendra Volz, Holmes and Jaquith each put up three goals.
McKillop, Alisha Tierney and Kelly Snyder had one goal apiece, with Julie Gregg joining Holmes, Jaquith and McKillop in the assist column.
With no time to rest after the CBA triumph, Cazenovia plays a Friday non-league game against Oswego.