ESM boys lacrosse works toward playoffs

East Syracuse-Minoa's boys lacrosse team kept getting into close encounters, winning some of them.

The Spartans stumbled at Whitesboro on May 7, falling to the Warriors 6-5.

The Spartans paid for getting shut out in the first half, even though Whitesboro could only manage a 2-0 halftime edge.

Mike Cummings, with three goals and one assist, led ESM's comeback, while James Chayka got a goal and two assists and Garrett Smith also scored. A.J. DeSimone (two goals) and Kevin Flanagan (one goal, three assists) led Whitesboro along as its goalie, Dave Olney, had 13 saves, one more than Spartan goalie Matt Letcher.

Going through another close game at home two days later, ESM at least came out on top here, beating Cazenovia 9-8.

Playing well on both sides of the ball in the first half, the Spartans shut the Lakers down for long stretches and built a 6-2 advantage. Cazenovia charged in the third quarter and shut out ESM in the final period, but the hosts held on.

Chayka, with three goals, and Smith, with two goals and two assists, led the way as Cummings added two goals and one assist. Quadear Mike earned one goal and one assist and Tom Petterelli also scored. Each of Letcher's 12 saves proved to be important.

Stuck at the .500 mark, ESM broke out of those doldrums in a big way Tuesday night when, in a battle of Spartan teams, ESM beat New Hartford by a score of 9-6.

New Hartford came in with a 10-3 record, but ESM broke through their defenses several times in the first half, issuing the most damage while racing out to a 7-3 lead.

The margin grew to 9-4 by the fourth quarter, giving ESM enough space to struggle down the stretch without seeing that lead get away.

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