Skaneateles girls lacrosse edges Caz, Westhill

While it still has many flaws to work out, the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team has not forgotten its knack for playing with poise and confidence in the clutch.

That pattern continued Wednesday afternoon at the Fenner Street complex as Skaneateles battled past Cazenovia 14-12 in the latest clash of two strong Laker teams.

Here was a game that provided little separation, as Skaneateles and Cazenovia were tied nine different times, with several lead changes.

And the biggest lead either side could attain in the first 46 minutes was two goals - 3-1, the margin Skaneateles gained in the early going as Diane Vitkus got two goals and Aly Davis also scored.

Davis would have a far greater impact as a distributor, finishing with five assists as Vitkus ended up with four goals and Shelby McNeilly also scored four times. They would have to be good, since Cazenovia would always seem to answer every time Skaneateles converted.

From Gabby Jaquith earning four goals and three assists to two different pass attempts that got deflected into the Skaneateles net, there was every reason for the visitors to figure that the game would not turn out well.

Then, with 11 minutes to play and the game tied yet again at 10-10, a Skaneateles shot deflected off the head of Katie Kleine, arguably Cazenovia's top all-around player.

Slow to walk off the field, Kleine would not return, taking away the player that, all afternoon, had shadowed Skaneateles standout Maddy Morrissey, holding her to one goal and one assist.

It was no coincidence that, once Kleine was gone, Morrissey would start to deliver her trademark late-game heroics.

McNeilly's fourth tally, with 6:47 left, put Skaneateles ahead for good. Then, twice in a span of less than two minutes, Morrissey would flash open and fire shots past Cazenovia goalie Brodie Shepard to make it 14-11, the most lopsided margin so far.

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