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Lakers' title dreams denied by CBA in tense final

Skaneateles falls to defending state champs, 9-8

Skaneateles sophomore Casey VanSlyke (10) tries to work her way around CBA's Alyssa Pitonzo (1) in Tuesday night's Section III Class C final. VanSlyke had a second-half goal, but it wasn't quite enough as the Lakers lost to the Brothers 9-8.

Skaneateles sophomore Casey VanSlyke (10) tries to work her way around CBA's Alyssa Pitonzo (1) in Tuesday night's Section III Class C final. VanSlyke had a second-half goal, but it wasn't quite enough as the Lakers lost to the Brothers 9-8. Dana Northrop

— Early in the second half, Beatson and McNeilly helped the Lakers dominate the draws (something it wasn't doing against CBA's Marisa Romeo in the first half), and it allowed Skaneateles to dictate the game's tempo, patiently working the ball around until the right shot was possible.

It was freshman Hannah Powers scoring 40 seconds into the half that sparked the Lakers' surge. McNeilly converted to make it 6-5 and Powers returned to score a second time to tie it, 6-6, less than five minute into the half, forcing the Brothers to use a time-out.

That didn't slow down the Lakers, though. Another ninth-grader, Elizabeth Lane, converted to put the Lakers ahead for the first time in the game, and Casey VanSlyke's goal with 12:49 left expanded the margin to 8-6.

To that point, Skaneateles defenders Alex Welch, Sharon Adams and Rachel Hurley had stood tall in the face of CBA's pressure, and goalie Shannon Byrne had made brilliant stops on her way to nine saves on the night.

"Shannon played awesome, and that gave our offense some confidence, too," said Marquardt.

Yet just 24 seconds after VanSlyke scored, the Brothers' Caroline Webster answered to quickly cut the margin to 8-7. Revitalized, CBA turned to Romeo, who tied it with 11:08 left and charged through the defense to put in the go-ahead goal with 5:13 left.

CBA's defense, playing without Webster in the latter stages due to two yellow cards, still managed to blank the Lakers over the last 12:49, withstanding all of those late Laker chances to pull even.

Skaneateles has a lot to look forward, to, though. Just five players, including Byrne, McNeilly, Davis, Adams and Addy Tauro, graduate. Everyone else could be on the field in 2013 making another title pursuit.

"We'll be back next year," said Marquardt.

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