Apr 09, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
No doubt, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team is closer to the top of the Section III Class C ranks than the bottom.
Still, more work remains if the Lakers are to get all the way to the summit – as shown Friday night when it battled hard against defending Class C champion Skaneateles, yet still took a 10-8 defeat.
Having dominated each of its four opponents so far, Cazenovia knew that Skaneateles, who had blasted past CBA 23-10 in its opener, would offer a far sterner test.
Still, in the early stages Cazenovia got the pace it wanted in this battle of Laker teams. Both sides were sprinting up and down the field, looking for shots as soon as there was an opening.
This led to a 3-3 draw through the end of the opening period, and after Skaneateles seized a 6-3 edge early in the second quarter, Cazenovia closed within 6-5 midway through the period.
When Sean Cannizzaro and John Greacen converted early in the third quarter, Cazenovia had a 7-6 lead, and its defense was doing a superb job, holding Skaneateles off the board for more than 16 minutes of game time.
Despite this, though, and despite holding the ball for much of the second half, Cazenovia could not stay in front. Skaneateles was back in an 8-7 lead by the start of the fourth quarter, and got two goals from star senior Kevin Rice early in that frame – the second after Mason Powell had closed the gap to one with 10:04 left.
Through those closing minutes, Cazenovia put on a relentless attack, yet constantly threw shots wide or high. And when the shots did go on target, Skaneateles sophomore goalie Ryan Higman got a stick on them, finishing with 14 saves.
Powell and Greacen were the only Cazenovia players to score twice. Sam Lewis, Matt Donovan and Brad Nardella joined Cannizzaro in the one-goal column. Ben Romagnoli made eight saves. All the Skaneateles goals came from three players as Paul O’Donnell found the net three times, with Rice (three goals, three assists) and Mike Richards (three goals, two assists) handling the rest.
Four nights earlier at Chittenango High School’s turf, the Lakers encountered long-time power LaFayette and earned its most one-sided win over the Lancers in the program’s history, prevailing by a 16-6 margin.
A minute into the game, LaFayette scored first, Orris Edwards converting off a feed from Lyle Thompson. That would be the Lancers’ only lead of the night – and it lasted just 17 seconds as Joe Nardella countered with a tying goal.
Then Nardella and Sean Cannizzaro scored less than a minute apart, making it 3-1, and after an exchange of goals Cannizzaro returned to get his third goal just 3.5 seconds before the first quarter ended.
Cazenovia’s defense tightened, the back line of Doyle Judge, Clayton Goris and Noah Shephard keeping LaFayette off the board the entire second period as the Lakers put up six unanswered goals in that frame to make it 11-2 at the break.
The margin got as large as 16-3 in the fourth quarter before the starters went to the sidelines. During the onslaught, Sean Cannizzaro worked his total to seven goals as his brother, Connor, tallied three goals and three assists. Nardella added four goals. Powell found the net twice and added an assist.
One more tune-up remained – Wednesday’s home opener against Jordan-Elbridge, where the Lakers again started with a big offensive charge and pounded the Eagles 19-5.
All through the first quarter, Cazenovia possessed the ball, meticulously working its way to seven unanswered goals. Not letting up, the Lakers’ margin grew to 11-2 by halftime and 17-4 by the time the third quarter was done and the reserves could take over.
Not only were the Lakers potent, they were well-balanced, too. Sean Cannizzaro backed up his three goals with five assists as Joe Nardella, Brad Nardella and Sam Lewis also managed three-goal hat tricks. Powell and Connor Cannizzaro each had two goals and one assist. Matt Donovan backed up his single tally with three assists as Alan Baldwin and Lucas Catania also converted.
So in four wins, Cazenovia had rung up 82 goals, an average of better than 20 per game – something the Skaneateles defense would find a way to contain.
The loss left the Lakers at 4-1 as, for the rest of April, it would not have to travel, playing six straight home games at Fenner – three of them this week against Westhill, CBA and Marcellus.