When it comes to the Skaneateles and Marcellus boys lacrosse teams, every one of their head-to-head encounters turns into a grinding, physical contest worthy of a fierce local rivalry.
That was again the case last Tuesday night -- for a half, anyway, which is just what the Mustangs wanted. But with one of its best offensive surges of the season, the Lakers completed a regular-season sweep of this series, prevailing by a score of 12-8.
Coming off narrow one-goal wins over Bishop Ludden and Onondaga the week before, Skaneateles found itself shut down during the first two periods on its home field as a fired-up Marcellus defense closed off most of the scoring lanes.
The only problem with this was that the Mustangs did not take full advantage, only managing two goals in each period. Thus, despite controlling the flow of play, Marcellus only carried a 4-1 advantage to the break.
Making near-perfect adjustments to its attack plan, the Lakers took over in the third quarter, outscoring Marcellus 5-1 to go in front. Not content with that, Skaneateles continued to pound at will in the final period, assuring that the Mustangs could not recover.
Keith Buehler and Eric Richards led the Skaneateles revival, as Buehler earned three goals and two assists and Richards added three goals and one assist.
Ryan Callhan, Kelly Donigan, Tom Schoener, Oliver Moore, Ian Newland and Ryan Callahan each earned single goals to give the Lakers some depth.
Sean Connors was the lone Marcellus player to score twice. D.J. Merriman had a goal and three assists, while Sean Conley, C.J. Nye, Will Nolan and Greg Ramsden each scored once. Marcus Giarusso, brilliant in the first half, struggled at the end, but still finished with 15 saves.
In the JV game on May 2, Marcellus put an end to the Lakers' 54-game win streak, playing strong all the way to beat Skaneateles 9-6.
Skaneateles goes from this contest to a key showdown Thursday with state Class C no. 10-ranked Cazenovia, the first of two games between the Laker squads in a span of five days. Marcellus, meanwhile, visits Westhill on that same night.