Having prevailed twice in close, exciting contests this spring, the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team finally saw that fortune change, even as it learned it had the no. 2 spot in the first state Class C rankings of the season.
In last Tuesday night's home game against traditional Class A power Fayetteville-Manlius, the Lakers were close all the way through the fast-paced contest, but fell to the Hornets 16-14.
F-M came into the game with a 2-2 record, but those defeats were to strong foes from the Albany (Guilderland) and Rochester (Pittsford Mendon) areas, so it was a battle-tested opponent.
On the turf, the pace was quick from the start, and Skaneateles matched most of what F-M could offer, only trailing 9-8 at halftime. Much the same thing happened in the second half as, no matter what the Lakers did, the Hornets answered.
Skaneateles lost despite Dianne Vitkus scoring six times and adding an assist. Erin Callahan had a big night, too, with four goals and four assists, while Shelby McNeilly scored twice. Emma Ford and Carly Davis both had one goal and one assist. Mollie Caputo, Marri Ryu (four goals each) and Katie Sipple (three goals) led F-M's push.
To say that the Lakers' second encounter with Cazenovia on April 9 differed from the first would be a vast understatement, as Skaneateles had to hang on to earn a second victory over that other group of Lakers 11-10.
When those same two sides met a week earlier, Skaneateles had crushed Cazenovia 19-5 on its home turf. But on the grass at Cazenovia's Fenner Street complex, it turned into a far more dramatic contest.
No matter what Skaneateles tried, it could not make a sustained scoring run against a vastly improved Cazenovia defense. Only leading 6-4 at halftime, the visitors fell into the same pattern in the second half and needed to hang on in the late going behind Shannon Byrne's 11 saves.