Jun 03, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
An argument could be made that, in going all-out to end its 23-year Section III Class A title drought, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team cost itself a chance to go further.
What is true is that the Warriors had very little time to savor its dramatic overtime conquest of West Genesee. Less than 72 hours later, it had to return to Bragman Stadium to play Saturday’s regional final against Section IV champion Ithaca.
More rested, and more experienced at this higher level of competition, the Little Red ran over Liverpool in a first-half blitz and ended the Warriors’ season in an 18-8 decision.
Even though it was the visiting side in this game, Ithaca had its own history at Bragman Stadium to serve as motivation. The Little Red made it to the state finals at C-NS in 2011, only to fall in overtime to Farmingdale 12-11, an ending Liverpool was quite familiar with.
As the game started, Liverpool’s Nick Kline, so dominant in the face-off circle against West Genesee, picked up the first draw, raced down the field and scored as just eight seconds went off the clock.
That, as it turned out, was the Warriors’ high point of the afternoon.
Goals by Doug Biondi and Pablo Ciferri 90 seconds apart put Ithaca ahead, 2-1, and the margin grew to 4-1 before the first quarter was done.
It got worse in the second period, Liverpool falling behind 10-2 as only Austin Hope’s goal prevented a total shutout.
Since it plays its own zone defense, Ithaca was well-versed in how to attack Liverpool’s familiar formation. It passed the ball around quickly and took plenty of accurate shots that Dominick Madonna could not stop.
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ offense, so patient in the face of WG’s man-to-man pressure in the sectional final, could not take advantage of Kline’s continued early success on face-offs against the Little Red, frequently turning the ball over.
Through a fruitless second-half chase, Kline and Logan Thomas both managed three-goal hat tricks, while Hope tacked on another goal. Every Liverpool charge, though, was met by an Ithaca answer as Biondi, with four goals, and Ciferri, with three goals, led the Little Red.
Ithaca moved on to face Fairport in the state semifinals. Liverpool, meanwhile, could still bask in the shared glow of an 18-2 campaign where a long championship drought ended.
And now coach Mike Felice and his Warriors must carry on without many of the essential pieces that got them to the top, including Kline, Thomas, Hope, Kyle DeAngelis, Scott Kershner, Matt Glowacki, Anthony Eno, Bryan Capone, Mike Czachowski and Mike Denely.