Jun 02, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With all the glory and ambition the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team has in mind for the days ahead, there was still the small matter of reclaiming the Section III Class C championship that it ceded to LaFayette a season ago.
And that’s exactly what the Lakers did Wednesday at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium, mostly leaning on its deep, high-powered offense to outlast the Lancers 19-11 and move its record to 18-0.
At the heart of the Lakers’ championship squad is a pack of six midfielders whose speed and multiple skills have proved too much for any opponent in 2010 to handle.
Tom Schoener, Kyle Baier, Mike Richards, Dylan Ross, Zach Brownlee and Jeff Higman gives Skaneateles the rare gift of two full-fledged midfield lines.
Head coach Ron Doctor said this gives his team a tremendous balance. His goalie, Cal Winkleman, concurred.
“We’re more athletic than our opponents, so most teams can’t run with us,” Winkleman said.
Those midfielders would need to shine again against LaFayette. True, the Lakers had crushed the Lancers 15-3 on April 24 at Onondaga Community College, but no one expected the rematch to be as lopsided.
Still, Skaneateles would never trail, making its first big statement late in the first quarter, while clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Just after making a great defensive strip, Richards scored at the 7:47 mark. Then Baier fed Kevin Rice for a goal six seconds later. Eight seconds after that, Rice got open again and, taking a pass from Baier, converted again.
Those three goals in 14 seconds propelled Skaneateles to a 10-4 lead late in the first half. But LaFayette would fight back.
Using its own stretch of three goals in 24 seconds, the Lancers closed within 10-7 at halftime, then moved within 11-9 early in the third quarter, led by Miles Thompson, who had five goals, and Lyle Thompson, who added three goals and four assists and also won a majority of the face-offs.
“We knew they would be tougher this time,” Rice said. “We knew we had to match their intensity.”
The midfielders stepped up, as did defenders Kyle McQuiggan, Trevor Diamond and Rory Callahan, who blanked LaFayette for more than 12 minutes, stretching deep into the fourth quarter.
By that point, the Lakers had stretched its margin to 15-9, and would not get caught. Rice had five goals and one assist, while Paul O’Donnell got five assists to go with his lone tally.
Baier got three goals and two assists and Richards also found the net three times. Schoener got two goals as Higman, Ross, Kelly Donigan and Steve Scuderi joined O’Donnell in the one-goal column. Winkleman made nine saves.
Skaneateles returns to CNS Saturday for the first round of the Class C regional playoffs, and will need to win four more times to earn its first-ever state title.