Though it still heads into the post-season as a favorite to repeat both its Section III and state Class C titles, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team would not go there with a perfect mark.
The Lakers lost, 15-10, to Baldwinsville last Monday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, putting an end to a 33-game win streak that had built over the previous two seasons.
B’ville carried many advantages into this contest. It had the motivation of payback, since the Lakers had ripped past the Bees 14-4 when the two sides met in the March 31 season opener at Cazenovia College.
More importantly, B’ville caught Cazenovia at a perfect time. The Lakers had just gone through tough, physical battles with CBA and Skaneateles in its past two games on May 9 and 11 (the latter of them going to overtime) and still faced a tough regular-season finale at Homer right after it faced the Bees.
Two more factors emerged as the game got underway. Cazenovia did not have its starting goalie, Trevor Cross, as backup Jay Hahn played in the net in the first half, and also did not have the services of senior midfielder and captain Matt Donovan, who would sit this one out.
They exchanged goals until the closing stages of the first quarter. Tied at 2-2, B’ville pushed hard as the clock wound down and, off a pass from Austin McCaskill, Pat Colligan ripped a shot past Hahn less than one second before the horn, giving the Bees the lead for good.
Fired up by that goal, B’ville got goals from Colligan and Steve Petrelli early in the second period. After Cazenovia cut the margin to 5-4, the Bees closed the half strong as Colligan and Petrelli both converted again, and Luke Evans added a goal.
So it was 8-4 going into the break, and even when Cross returned to open the second half, B’ville kept pouring it on. Evans hit on his second goal just 15 seconds into the third quarter, and he scored again after Petrelli netted his third goal, all in the first two minutes of the period.
As it turned out, B’ville needed that 11-4 cushion, for the Lakers, with two goals from Ryan Cook and tallies from Brad Nardella and Oliver Gates, quickly slashed the margin to 11-8, all in a span of less than five minutes.
McCaskill ended the Bees’ skid, scoring late in the third quarter, but again Cazenovia attacked early in the fourth quarter as Cook and Connor Cannizzaro both found the net in a 35-second span, and B’ville’s lead was just two, 12-10.
Again, the Bees kept its poise. McCaskill found the net with 9:14 left, and the Bees’ defense, anchored by goalie Parker Ferrigan, killed off two different man-up situations that ate up large remaining portions of the clock.
It was Colligan who delivered the clincher, scoring with 2:39 to play for his fourth goal of the night, and Evans tacked on one more tally as the clock ran out.
Cannizzaro led Cazenovia with three goals and four assists. Cook added three goals and two assists, while Alex Sullivan and P.J. Brown also scored.
All game long, B’villes’ Joe Delia fed his teammates timely passes, earning six assists, while Petrelli had three assists. McCaskill and Zach Bulak each got two assists as Ferrigan made 22 saves.