Loudly announcing its intentions to contend for both league and Section III honors in a couple of week's time, the Chittenango girls lacrosse team went to East Syracuse-Minoa Monday night and put together a 12-10 victory over the Spartans to improve to 9-3 on the season.
It was the second time in 11 days the two OHSL Freedom division rivals had clashed. The Bears had lost the first encounter at home April 29, but the narrow 11-10 margin gave Chittenango confidence that it could gain some payback.
For a while, the rematch was a duplicate of the original, ESM clawing its way to a 5-4 halftime lead. But the Bears' attack, paced once more by Jenna Barber, took over late, burning the Spartans' defense over and over as it moved in front.
By game's end, Barber had amassed five goals and two assists. Kaitlin Antelmi managed her own three-goal hat trick, while Brianna Schiedo scored twice.
Shannen Sweeney and Carlie Roman had the other goals as Rachel Antelmi added an assist. Marlee Vlassis (three goals, one assist) and Nikki DeVona (four goals) led ESM's effort as Bears goalie Elizabeth Dennee recorded 10 saves.
Just before this, Cazenovia's playoff hopes took a severe hit at Tully in a long and drawn-out affair that went four overtimes before the Lakers lost to the Black Knights 16-15.
During regulation, the Lakers bravely rallied from a 9-5 deficit, playing first-rate defense in the second half to tie it, 12-12. Lauren Devine earned 15 saves to aid in that effort.
So they went to a pair of three-minute overtime periods, played in full. Both sides would score three times, making it 15-15 and forcing a sudden-victory third OT. When that period did not yield a winner, a fourth OT was needed - and just three seconds before it ended, Tully's Amanda Briggs beat Devine for the decisive goal.
Kaitlyn Button had six goals, most of those passes coming from Hillary Bullock, who set a career mark with eight assists. Gabby Jaquith put in four goals and four assists, while Kristina Kleine scored twice. Kiley Connellan and Emily Willard had the other goals. Alison Bolt (six goals) and Alexis Drumm (four goals, one assist) led Tully's effort