Defeats to CBA and Fayetteville-Manlius left the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team at 8-4 -- but it still had first place in the OHSL Liberty Division II, and had no intention of letting that go, as two more challengers would find out.
Going to Jordan-Elbridge Tuesday night, the Lakers were in a tight battle all the way, yet managed to stay out in front and beat the Eagles 14-11.
A solid first-half defensive effort meant that Skaneateles could go to the break with a 6-4 lead. It also meant that, even as J-E began to find success in its attack in the late going, the Lakers could counter and stay effective.
Maddy Morrissey and Diane Vitkus both finished with four goals, as Vitkus added an assist. Close behind them, Shelby McNeilly had three goals and one assist, with Aly Davis picking up two goals and one assist. Erin Callahan got two assists as Emma Ford earned the other goal.
J-E, by contrast, didn't have any player score more than twice (Amanda Wheeler, Emily Dillon and Amanda Brown in that category), and also needed Kelsey Richardson's 12 saves to stay close.
Two nights later, Skaneateles met Cazenovia, who had revived its own playoff chances with a 14-10 win over Marcellus that took place as the home Lakers were beating J-E.
Preventing another upset, Skaneateles again won the battle of Laker teams -- and unlike the tense April 14 thriller at the Fenner Street complex, this one ended in a comfortable 16-7 victory for the hosts.
Everyone on the Skaneateles roster stepped up, especially with Cazenovia's defense honed in on Morrissey, trying to keep her from taking over. The plan backfired, as Skaneateles grabbed an 8-3 lead by halftime and kept on pulling away.
Vitkus, with five goals, and Aly Davis, with a goal and four assists, set the pace as Carly Davis contributed a three-goal hat trick. Callahan had two goals and two assists, with McNeilly also finding the net twice. Morrissey had one goal and one assist as Ford and Grace Kelly also scored.
With a 10-4 record, Skaneateles visits Westhill Tuesday, then is back home to clash with Marcellus Thursday night as the regular season is sure to come to a memorable end.