With the regular season winding down, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team found out that it might not be far away from the elite level.
As it hosted defending Section III Class C champion Skaneateles last Tuesday at the Fenner Street Complex, Cazenovia nearly got the best of this battle of Laker teams -- but one spurt helped Skaneateles beat them 7-5.
All through the first half, the two sides both played first-rate defense. Cazenovia slowed Skaneateles down and, with goalie Alex Cross on his way to 12 saves, the opposing Laker sides went to the break still even at 3-3.
Only once did Cazenovia's resistance bend -- in the third quarter, when Skaneateles scored four times and seized a 7-4 lead. Kelly Donigan, Tom Schoener (two goals, one assist each) and Kevin Rice (one goal, two assists) led this push.
Seeing all this, Cazenovia tried to answer in the final period, and kept Skaneateles off the board, but could only score once.
Sean Cannizzaro, in defeat, had two goals and one assist, with Joe Nardella also finding the net twice. Brett Axelson earned the other goal as Chad Dorrance added an assist. All of them got frustrated as Skaneateles goalie Cal Winkleman stopped 11 of the 16 shots he faced.
The Lakers (11-6) meet Marcellus Thursday at Fenner for its regular-season finale.