At least for the moment, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team finds itself just behind LaFayette in the Section III Class C ranks.
In a highly-anticipated duel of unbeaten teams Saturday night, the Lakers led the entire first half, but could not hold the Lancers back in the late going of a 13-9 defeat.
Skaneateles arrived with a 10-0 record. LaFayette was 9-0. Much of the game's plot centered around whether the Lakers' imposing defense could overpower the explosive Lancer attack, anchored by John Greeley and Miles Thompson.
Fired up in front of a large crowd at Hyatt Stadium, the Lakers' back line of Kyle McQuiggan, Lex Johnson and Luke Sherman put the clamps down with a series of checks and forced turnovers, nearly blanking LaFayette in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Skaneateles proved patient on the attack, as Kevin Castle and Kyle Baier scored to push the Lakers in front 2-0. Kelly Donigan and Tom Schoener added goals in the second quarter, and Kyle Christine's charge up the middle to score midway through that period made it 5-2.
The game was exactly where Skaneateles wanted it. And even when Greeley ran 60 yards through several defenders for a goal late in the half to make it 5-4, Donigan answered just 2.4 seconds before the horn, and the Lakers took a 6-4 edge to the break.
It all turned in the third quarter, though, mainly because LaFayette's Jake Ternosky won most of the face-offs and his teammates got more patient on the offensive end, forcing the Skaneateles defense to work a lot in that period. A rash of Laker turnovers didn't help, either.
Other than Baier's goal, Skaneaeteles got shut out in that period. LaFayette tied it, 7-7, and when Austin Cavender converted with just 20.9 seconds left in the period, the Lancers led for the first time all night.