Following its come-from-behind win over Westhill on Wednesday, the Cazenovia girls lacrosse team faced another big test on Saturday, when it visited Marcellus.
Despite a roster thinned to 14 by injuries and other absences, Cazenovia nearly pulled off another second-half comeback before falling to the Mustangs 14-11.
All through the opening minutes, the Lakers could not win any draws against Marcellus' Nora Barry, and that translated into a 3-0 deficit. Cazenovia cut it to 4-3, but the Mustangs appeared to put things away with five unanswered goals.
By halftime, the margin was 11-4, and it even grew to 14-6 when Leea Sinay poured in her fourth goal with 16:23 left. With so many handicaps, the easy thing for the Lakers to do would be to save itself for future battles.
Instead, Cazenovia made this game a battle. Goals by Kendra Volz and Colleen Dougherty made it 14-8, and not long after Katie Kleine's third goal cut it to 14-9 with 10:57 left, two Mustangs -- Barry and Megan Welch -- got yellow cards.
Now with a two-player advantage, the Lakers kept inching closer. Dougherty's third goal with 8:25 to play made it 14-10, and Kaitlyn Button's tally a minute later cut the margin to three.
Marcellus finally got the ball back, though, and once it was back at full strength, it ate up most of the rest of the clock with a possession game that Cazenovia could not interrupt.
Mikaela Henn, with two goals, offered the main help to Dougherty and Kleine as Gabby Jaquith, the main target of the Marcellus defenders, had just one goal and two assists. Volz and Button both had assists, too, as Sinay and Barry (three goals) led the Mustangs' winning effort.
Cazenovia would be back home Wednesday to face long-time power Skaneateles. A game with Jordan-Elbridge originally scheduled for Friday has been pushed back to May 10 to accommodate trips during the upcoming April school break.