While it did a lot of things well in 2009, winning 14 games and going as far as it ever has in the post-season, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team could not figure out Skaneateles in three separate meetings.
The last of those came in Tuesday afternoon's Section III Class C semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman, where Skaneateles shut Cazenovia down, winning the battle of Laker teams 10-2 to advance to the finals against LaFayette.
Though Skaneateles had shut out Cazenovia on April 19, Cazenovia had fared better in the rematch, a 7-5 contest a month later that gave the no. 3 seed a reason to think that, if they played again, it could prove exciting.
Skaneateles, the no. 2 seed, would not hear of it, though. Primed and ready, it tore out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, forcing Cazenovia into a catch-up mode that continued the rest of the afternoon.
Cazenovia did blank Skaneateles in the second period, but only scored once. That would prove to be a lost opportunity, for in the third quarter Skaneateles produced four unanswered goals and would draw clear.
Justin Hoffman and Seth Goldacker put in Cazenovia's goals, with Brett Axelson adding an assist. Though Alec Cross made 14 saves, he could not contain a balanced Skaneateles attack where seven different players scored, none more than twice.
So the Lakers concluded with a mark of 14-7, with nearly half the defeats at the expense of Skaneateles. Nine seniors depart, including Goldacker, Mike McGinnis, Sean Dougherty and Ben Lewis.
But the return of Hoffman, Cross, Joey Nardella, Sam Lewis and Chad Dorrance should keep Cazenovia strong in 2010, and only time will determine if this taste of getting near the elite level will turn into a longer feast.