May 05, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
It did not even take a half hour – but in that brief amount of time, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team staged one of the most memorable comebacks in the program’s history.
Down by three goals midway through the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s resumption of the weather-halted April 26 game against LaFayette at the Fenner Street complex, the Lakers somehow made up the deficit and beat the Lancers 15-14 in overtime as Matt Donovan’s goal decided it.
Eight days earlier, they had started the game at Colgate University’s Tyler Field. Dogged by a porous defense and LaFayette’s consstent ability to finish off scoring chances, Cazenovia , no. 2 in the state rankings at the time, were in trouble.
But with 4:08 to play in regulation and the Lakers down 14-11 (despite John Greacen’s five goals and Joe Nardella’s two goals and two assists), the game was halted when the rain and lightning got too close.
Given a reprieve, Cazenovia was glad that, when the game started again, it would at least be back at Fenner, on more familiar ground. Yet when play started, for more than two minutes the Lakers (now fallen to no. 8 in the state rankings, with LaFayette at no. 7) could do nothing as the Lancers appeared ready to put away its most important win of the season.
Then, with 1:36 left, Donovan scored to cut it to 14-12. The Lakers won the ensuing faceoff, and Connor Cannizzaro charged down and put it in the net, shrinking Cazenovia’s margin to one.
Again, the Lakers got the draw. Again, it attacked, and with 48 seconds left in regulation Cannizzaro flashed open again and beat LaFayette goalie Noah Walburger to tie it, 14-14.
It appeared that LaFayette recovered from the shock when it won the overtime ground ball and attacked. Each time, though, the Lakers made stops, and Cazenovia got possession. At the 2:01 mark of the extra period, Donovan flung a shot past Walburger to win it.
This big game sets up a bigger one next Tuesday at Fenner, where Cazenovia would get its second shot at state no. 1-ranked Skaneateles, a team it lost to 10-8 back on April 8.