Lakers beat Marcellus, wins Finger Lakes Face-Off

Skaneateles boys lax hosts season-opening tourney

— Instead of the typical season-opening non-league contests, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team brought together three of its closest neighbors to Arthur Hyatt Stadium for the inaugural Finger Lakes Face-Off Tournament - but still kept the first-place trophy for itself.

The Lakers roared past Jordan-Elbridge 17-4 in Friday night's opening round after Marcellus beat Auburn 7-1. Then, in Saturday's title game, Skaneateles pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Mustangs 7-4.

Skaneateles went 16-2 a season ago, but were denied a third Section III Class C title in four years when it lost the sectional final to Cazenovia, who went on to earn its first-ever state championship.

In 2012, head coach Ron Doctor finds himself having to replace seven starters from last spring, including standouts like Kevin Rice, Paul O'Donnell, Mike Richards, Jeff Higman and Zach Brownlee. Thus, the main concern was how the Lakers' attack would fare with all kinds of new faces.

Against J-E in the opening round, that wasn't a big concern. From an early 1-1 tie, the Lakers moved ahead for good with four unanswered goals, two of them from Tyler Strods. Still, J-E hung around for the rest of the half, using two goals from Aurie Schwarting to pull within 7-4 at the break.

But in the third quarter, Skaneateles took over, scoring seven straight goals in that frame on its way to a 10-0 domination of the second half. Jack Fabrizio and Zach Ross led that push, both of them finishing with four goals, while Connor O'Hara would finish with three goals and two assists. Brendan Major added two goals and one assist.

Before Skaneateles took the field, Marcellus battled its way past Auburn, setting up a juicy final between the two long-time rivals.

Mostly, the Lakers' defense controlled the first half. Back-line players Trevor Diamond, Mike Card and Erik Pola shut down whatever the Mustangs tried to establish. Junior goalie Ryan Higman, who started as a sophomore in 2011, turned every shot away on his way to 15 saves for the afternoon.

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