Amid of week of intense drama and high emotion, the Jordan-Elbridge boys lacrosse team had to win twice, or miss the Section III Class C playoffs. It could only get half the job done.
For the Jordan-Elbridge and Bishop Ludden boys lacrosse teams, post-season fates hinged on a meeting with each other -- and what happened in the aftermath.
The head-to-head battle last Tuesday night produced tons of offense on both ends, but the Eagles had more firepower as it beat the Gaelic Knights 20-13.
Leading most of the way, J-E took a 4-2 advantage in the first quarter, then traded goals throughout a wild second period before going to the break nursing a slim 8-7 advantage. And that was just the warm-up act.
With relentless pressure, speed and skill, the Eagles overwhelmed Ludden's thin defensive corps throughout the second half, gradually pulling away in the process.
Kory Smart and Josh Livingston both picked a good time for career-best efforts, as Smart earned eight goals and two assists, and Livingston poured in six goals, adding one assist.
Joey Poppe wasn't far behind, finding the net four times, as Brian Belcher dished out five assists and joined Abe Patrick in the one-goal column. Ken Bush had a lot of trouble in the net, but still made 11 saves.
Ludden, in defeat, had Sean Connors score four times, while Brad Kirch (two assists) and Coin Lynch each got three goals. Connor Brown gained two goals and two assists, while Kyle Hotaling had one goal and one assist. Matt Catalano picked up two assists.
At 7-10, the Eagles met Marcellus Thursday, with a post-season berth still uncertain. But events off the field only made things more poignant.
On Tuesday, Aaron Guadagnolo, 21, was killed in a motor-vehicle accident. Aaron was the brother of current J-E sophomore Jeff Guadagnolo as well as Syracuse University lacrosse players Kyle and Tom Guadagnolo.