The fact that the Marcellus and Jordan-Elbridge girls lacrosse teams were eliminated in Saturday’s opening round of the Section III Class C playoffs was difficult for fans of both teams to take.
However, those feelings were tempered by the immense pride shared in the fact that, across the country and across the divisions, local stars were busy shaping national-championship chases.
As to the actual playoff games, Marcellus, the no. 8 seed, lost a 14-13 decision to no. 9 seed Cazenovia, the same side it lost to in a regular-season meeting five days earlier.
Now, as then, Marcellus paid for a poor start, falling behind 8-4 by the time they reached the half. A long chase followed, as several times the Mustangs would pull closer, only to have the Lakers get away again.
The Mustangs still had a chance when, with 1:29 left, Grace Nolan hit on her fourth goal to make it 13-11, but Cazenovia won the ensuing face-off and worked the clock down until Kayla Dorrance hit on a goal with 40.7 seconds to play.
That proved the game-winner as, battling to the end, Marcellus got last-second tallies from Molly Caldwell and Emily Hennigan before the clock ran out.
Audrey Cerrone, Lexy Bird and Molly McGuane each scored twice to help Nolan, while goalie Renee Poullott picked up 12 saves. Caroline Franz paced Cazenovia with five goals and one assist.
Later that afternoon, J-E, the no. 10 seed in Class C, battled no. 7 seed LaFayette, and the two sides went to overtime before the Eagles fell to the Lancers 10-8.
All game long, the two sides, who split their pair of regular-season meetings, traded the momentum. J-E roared to a 4-1 lead in the first half, but after a time-out LaFayette stormed back with four straight goals before a late Eagles tally pulled them even again, 5-5, at the break.