At least on one end of the field, the Cazenovia girls lacrosse team has little to worry about, if the early results are any indicator.
The Lakers, dealt a first-round playoff exit in a rough 2011 campaign, began its new season by going to Marcellus last Monday night and playing sensational defense, only to come up just short in a 5-4 loss to the Mustangs.
To say that head coach Caitlin Byrne and her players worked on the defensive side was a small understatement. That back line hurt the Lakers in 2011 all the way to the playoffs, when Tully eliminated them by scoring 16 times.
Nothing of that sort was happening against a Marcellus side that, despite the departure of all-time leading scorer Nora Barry (she’s now starring at Florida), had already earned a 2-0 start.
The Lakers dictated the game’s tempo, using long possessions to slow the Mustangs down. And it stuck to that strategy even though Marcellus inched to a 3-2 halftime lead.
Lauren Devine, with 11 saves, helped keep Cazenovia within range to the end, while Colleen Dougherty, Hadley Lucas, Caroline Franz and Jessy Silfer earned one goal apiece. The Mustangs’ Molly McGuane was the only player on either side to score twice as Marcellus goalie Renee Poullott recorded 10 saves.
Cazenovia made another road trip on Thursday night to Homer, and this time unleashed its attack in the first half, which proved enough for its first win of the season over the Trojans, 9-6.
Steadily, the Lakers used a balanced approach to carve out a 7-2 halftime margin, which allowed them to withstand Homer’s late-game push.
Balance was the key, as six different players scored. Franz, Dougherty and Emmajean Speer each scored twice, with Silfer, Emily Willard and Becca Wheeler also converting. Kayla Dorrance dished out three assists, with Wheeler also getting an assist.
Following a week to rest and work, the Lakers play its home opener at the Sean Googin Sports Complex Thursday against Westhill.