As it slowly returned to full strength, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team slowly shook out of its late-season funk and earned crucial victories at the end of a busy stretch that meant playing four times in six days.
Right at the end of this gauntlet, the Lakers gave itself a gigantic boost when it went to Homer Saturday afternoon and rallied past the Trojans 8-7.
Going in, Homer was 15-1, and perhaps lined up to gain the top seed for the Section III Class C playoffs. Cazenovia's effort might have disrupted those plans.
All through the first half, the Lakers and Trojans traded off occasional goals, but mostly played exceptional defense, leaving the two sides tied 3-3 going into the break.
Cazenovia did not go in front until the third quarter, a slight edge maintained down the stretch when Coleman Koesterer, assuming his role as the Lakers' most vital player, scored twice in the final period, which proved to be enough.
Overall, Koesterer put up four goals, half his team's total. Tom Owens scored twice, while Chris Nourse gained one goal and one assist, and Brett Axelson also scored. Ben Dewan added an assist.
Each side had great efforts in the net, but Cazenovia's Pat Cooney fared a bit better, his 16 saves two more than Homer counterpart Paul Zimmerman. With four goals of his own, Carl Zimmerman accounted for much of Homer's production.
This whole process did not start out well. Up against Skaneateles last Monday afternoon, the eastern Lakers, meeting the western Lakers for the second time in less than a week, again lost, this one an 8-6 decision at the Sean Goggin Sports Complex on Fenner Street.
When they had first met at Skaneateles on May 8, Cazenovia had absorbed an 8-6 defeat. The rematch would offer a new plot -- but the same negative result.