Only time and results will determine whether the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team barges into the upper echelon of the Section III Class C ranks -- but the start went well.
With a determined rally in last Tuesday night's game at Westhill, the Lakers prevailed over the Warriors 10-9 in overtime.
A season ago, the Lakers went 13-7, a solid effort that ended with a Class C quarterfinal playoff loss to Homer. From that group, 12 seniors departed, including Coleman Koesterer, Chris Nourse and Ben Dewan.
Yet despite all that turnover, Cazenovia might not drop off, as it made a strong debut on a chilly night at Westhill.
The Warriors did get the early jump, putting the Lakers in a 3-1 deficit after one period. Cazenovia stabilized, playing on even terms over the next two periods, but neither side could make a sustained run.
So the Lakers still trailed 8-6 going into the third period, pushed there by Dylan Tripodi's five goals and one assist. But at just the right time its defense stood up, holding Westhill in check as it came back to forge a 9-9 tie, then win it in the extra period.
Justin Hoffman, a varsity newcomer, led with three goals. And another new face, Sean Cannizzaro, scored twice as Ben Lewis and Mike McGinnis each matched that two-goal output. Brett Gifford had the other goal. Seth Goldacker picked up two assists and Chad Dorrance added one assist.