Apr 18, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Ten and a half months after they last saw each other, the Cazenovia and Skaneateles boys lacrosse teams had a reunion Tuesday night at Hyatt Stadium – and it wasn’t too friendly.
Physical play, penalties, a rash of turnovers on both ends and tough defense marked this latest clash of Laker teams, with Cazenovia hanging on for a 7-6 victory to extend its state-best win streak to 24 games.
It was on this same field one year ago that Cazenovia took its last defeat. It responded in 2011 with two wins over Skaneateles – one at home, the other in the Section III Class C final – that helped pave the way to a first-ever state championship.
Now they were meeting again, and from the first face-off everything got contested. A pattern emerged in the first quarter, Skaneateles hurting itself with penalties and Cazenovia unable to take full advantage of them.
At one point late in the period, Skaneateles went down for three full minutes for an illegal stick, yet it only led to one goal, from Ryan Cook, that made it 2-0, where it stood as the quarter ended.
Skaneateles got on the board early in the second quarter, only to have Brad Nardella and Connor Cannizzaro convert to extend Cazenovia’s lead to 4-1, the largest it would hold all night.
By halftime, the margin was down to 5-3, and it took just 1:11 of the third quarter for Skaneateles to pull even 5-5 on goals from Zach Ross and Connor O’Hara.
Beaten badly on face-offs, Cazenovia still wouldn’t let Skaneateles get in front, and went back ahead 6-5 on Matt Donovan’s second goal at the 4:58 mark. With both sides sloppy, it stayed that way until Nate Scuderi beat Trevor Cross just 1.2 seconds before the horn, tying it 6-6 going to the fourth quarter.
No one figured that Cannizzaro’s power-play goal with 10:05 left would be the game-winner. For the rest of regulation, Cazenovia squandered chances to add to that lead, thwarted by an effective Skaneateles defense that forced poor passes and still more turnovers. Goalie Ryan Higman made 12 saves.
Yet when Skaneateles got its own chances to even it up, Cazenovia defenders Barclay Talbot, Doyle Judge, Mike Nourse and Clay Goris put pressure on the ball and caused one more turnover with 1:30 left, and the visitors managed to run out the remaining clock.
Cannizzaro, despite constant defensive pressure, managed two goals and three assists, while Cook had two goals and two assists. Cazenovia and Skaneateles meet again May 11 at the Googin Sports Complex.