Coming off back-to-back defeats to Westhill and East Syracuse-Minoa, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team could not afford a further erosion of the strong trust it had built over the first half of the regular season.
That meant surviving a ferocious comeback attempt by Jordan-Elbridge last Tuesday at the Fenner Street complex, as the Lakers held off the Eagles 16-14 to end its brief skid.
They had played through a 5-5 first half before Cazenovia caught fire in the third quarter. Constantly working its way through J-E's defense, the Lakers scored nine times, turning a thriller into a comfortable 14-8 lead with one period left.
Still, the Eagles refused to bend, storming back and erasing much of Cazenovia's lead in the fourth quarter, but not quite able to catch up.
Sean Cannizzaro had five goals and three assists, with Seth Goldacker stepping up for four goals and three assists.
Brett Axelson scored three times, adding two assists, while Chad Dorrance had two goals and one assist. Justin Hoffman and Joe Nardella also scored, with Ben Lewis joining Hoffman in the assist column. Dylan Johnson led J-E with four goals.
Going to Homer two nights later, the Lakers turned in a near-flawless defensive effort in a 7-2 victory over the Trojans.
Through the entire first half, Cazenovia kept Homer's potent attack off the board, stopping everything thrown at them as it also stayed patient on the offensive side. Alec Cross, getting a turn in the net, stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced.
Ahead 3-0 at the break, the Lakers saw the Trojans make a brief third-quarter uprising, then proceeded to blank them again in the final period and get clear.
Cannizzaro and Goldacker each scored twice to pace Cazenovia's modest attack, with Axelson, Hoffman and Dorrance also scoring. McGinnis and Sean Dougherty added assists.
Both Skaneateles, on Tuesday, and Marcellus, on Thursday, will come to the Fenner complex in advance of next week's venture into the Section III Class C playoffs.