Apr 26, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Humbled a bit by the 8-0 shutout Skaneateles gave them on April 18, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team spent the better part of the next week recovering through a pair of solid victories — yet it was a defeat that carried the most lasting value.
What the Lakers learned, in Saturday’s 11-10 loss to LaFayette, was that it had the goods to match up with just about anyone in the area, and that it just had to avoid long-term lapses to make it happen.
This was supposed to be LaFayette’s showcase. Not only was it 7-0 and no. 3 in the state rankings, it chose the Cazenovia game to officially celebrate its 50th season of lacrosse, with members of the first team in 1960 honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Caught up in all that hoopla, the Lancers may have forgotten about Cazenovia — and the Lakers pounced, staying close in the first half and, led by Brett Axelson, easing into a 6-5 lead before halftime.
Sensing the urgency, LaFayette answered with a patented offensive blitz that covered the entire third quarter and included six goals. At least Cazenovia did enough in response to remain within sight, 11-8, with one period left.
Down the stretch, the Lakers played note-perfect defense, not allowing anything more as Ben Bowers worked his total to nine saves. Cazenovia pulled within one, but could not quite notch the goal that would force overtime.
Axelson finished with five goals, exactly half the Lakers’ output. Sean Cannizzaro and Justin Hoffman each found the net twice, with Mike McGinnis also scoring. Sean Dougherty, Chad Dorrance and Seth Goldacker joined Cannizzaro in the assist column.
A balanced Lancer attack saw John Greeley, Lyle Thompson and Jeremy Beresovoy each land three-goal hat tricks, while Miles Thompson earned two goals and one assist.
Way back on Tuesday, at Marcellus, the Lakers’ defense took over in the middle stages, the key factor in an 11-6 victory over the Mustangs.
Marcellus, languishing at the .500 mark, seized a 3-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, but would not convert again until the final period.
This meant that, for more than half the game, the Lakers shut out the Mustangs, turning back every possible attack with a combination of strong back-line play and an uncanny ability to win face-offs and control possession.
During this long spell, Cazenovia ran off six unanswered goals to seize an 8-3 advantage, enough to hold up, even after Marcellus broke its drought in the closing minutes.
Cannizzaro led the attack, scoring four times and adding an assist. Hoffman, Axelson and McGinnis each had two goals, with Sam Lewis adding a goal. Dorrance and Goldacker joined Axelson in the assist column.
Cazenovia achieved another road win on Thursday, at Manlius-Pebble Hill, where it had little trouble beating the Trojans 17-5.
A solid first half put the Lakers out in front 9-3, but it really sealed matters by outscoring MPH 6-1 in the third period, leading to its best offensive output of the season.
McGinnis, with five goals and one assist, set the pace as Goldacker set a new career mark with four goals. Hoffman backed up his two goals with two assists as Axelson and Tom Owens also had two-goal outings. Canizzaro earned a goal and two assists, with Sam Lewis also converting. Dorrance and Ben Lewis joined Axelson with single assists.
The LaFayette defeat left the Lakers at 5-2, yet far more confident about itself as it faced a trio of games this week against Bishop Ludden, CBA and Onondaga.