Right at home, the Cazenovia girls lacrosse team had a chance to deliver something rare -- a two-game season sweep of the powerhouse with the same nickname that has caused so much grief for Class C opponents through the years.
And though it proved exciting and exasperating at times, Cazenovia pulled it off, earning a dramatic 9-8 victory over Skaneateles when Julie Gregg poured in a goal with 23.2 seconds left in regulation.
Back on April 7 at Solvay, Cazenovia had won the first meeting 14-11. Exactly a month later, at the Fenner Street complex, Skaneateles would be tougher to solve.
With her trademark aggression, Kara Cannizzaro pushed Cazenovia to a 4-2 lead midway through the first half with back-to-back goals after Kendra Volz and Gabby Jaquith had scored early.
For the rest of the half, though, Skaneateles controlled the draws and put Cazenovia in constant defensive mode. Despite some physical resistance, Skaneateles got four unanswered goals, all from Katherine Pille and Lindsay Angelillo, and took a 6-4 lead to the break.
Kassie Kleine entered the picture with back-to-back goals early in the second half, tying it again at 6-6, but just as often Cazenovia would find itself thwarted in great scoring chances as Skaneateles goalie Heather Mullen finished with 13 saves.
Goals became precious as the second half wore on. Taylor Matt, Kristen Romagnoli, Katie Kleine and Clare Dorsey all put up strong resistance, and Cannizzaro made several timely strips. In the net, Allison Loretz played the second half and earned eight saves.
Despite all this, Cazenovia needed Kassie Kleine's third goal with 4:50 left to go back in front, 8-7, though Angelillo answered a minute later to even it again at 8-8. Skaneateles had a great chance to go in front with a minute to play -- but Loretz stopped Angelillo, point-blank.