Every game, and every victory, brings the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team another milestone. And now the biggest one of all is a single victory away.
On a sticky Wednesday night at St. John Fisher College in suburban Rochester, the Lakers unleashed its high-octane attack on West Region champion Silver Creek in the first half, and then held on late to beat the Black Knights by a score of 15-13.
With that win, Cazenovia, at 21-1, earned a berth in Saturday's state championship game at Cicero-North Syacuse's Bragman Stadium against Bayport-Blue Point, from Long Island, who edged Bronxville 9-8 in the other semifinal. The title game starts at 4 p.m.
New as the Lakers were to this, it was also Silver Creek's first state semifinal appearance, and it had a dangerous attack. The Black Knights' duo of Zed Williams and Frank Brown had combined to score more than 150 goals this season, so containing them was crucial.
Right from the start, the pace was fierce. Joe Nardella struck the first blow 59 seconds into the game off a blind pass from Sean Cannizzaro. A series of attacks followed, but at the 4:12 mark Nardella struck again, using a long run down the field to set up a pass to Connor Cannizzaro, who ripped a shot home to make it 2-0.
Silver Creek called an early time-out after Connor's tally, and it temporarily settled that team down as eighth-grader Sherman Williams cut it to 2-1 midway through the period and Zed Williams converted 26 seconds later to tie it 2-2.
However, Nardella answered six seconds later to put Cazenovia in front, and Mason Powell made it 4-2, scoring off a turnover and a feed from Sean Cannizzaro. When Connor hit on his second goal at the 8:18 mark, it was 5-2, and less than two minutes later Nardella had a three-goal hat trick.