The way it worked out, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team began 2010 the way 2009 ended -- facing Skaneateles, and taking defeat.
When the two Laker sides last met, it was in the Section III Class C semifinals, as Cazenovia's dreams of going to a first-ever championship game ended with Skaneateles prevailing 10-2.
It proved a lot closer when Cazenovia visited the new Skaneateles turf field Thursday night. But again those other Lakers would win, this time in an 11-7 decision.
Head coach Jim Longo saw eight seniors - Ben Bowers, Tom Owens, Seth Goldacker, Tim Regan, Ben Lewis, Tyler LawrenceMike McGinnis and Will Ellers -- depart. And with many new faces in the starting lineup, some struggle was inevitable.
That would be especially true against Skaneateles, who was coming off an impressive 19-10 season-opening win over Auburn two nights earlier.
All through the first three periods, Cazenovia saw its attack stymied, unable to get anything started. Skaneateles clamped down on defense and raced out to a 7-1 halftime lead before cooling off in the late stages.
Most of Brett Axelson's four goals came in the fourth quarter as Sam Lewis, Sean Cannizzaro and Connor Cannizzaro (all coming off successful season with the Cazenovia hockey team) got one goal apiece. For Skaneateles, Kevin Rice had four goals and Kelly Donigan added three goals. Alec Cross recorded 14 saves.
Each of Cazenovia's first three games are on the road, including trips Tuesday to Jordan-Elbridge and Saturday to Clinton.