Apr 27, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now the easy part was over for the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team.
Though it sat at no. 2 in the state Class C rankings, the Lakers geared up and entered the tough portion of its regular-season schedule, with every opponent possessing plenty of talent and quality, plus a desire to knock off a big-name foe.
That certainly was the case when the Lakers hosted LaFayette Friday night at the Sean Googin Sports Complex. Things went well for a half, but a disastrous third quarter proved costly as the Lakers took its first loss of the season to the Lancers 12-11.
Ever since the Lancers lost to Cazenovia 10-8 on April 4 at Cazenovia College’s turf field, it had broken through with big wins over then-unbeaten Skaneateles on April 16 (11-4) and then ended CBA’s six-game win streak in a 16-14 thriller exactly a week later.
As the first two periods showed, the Lakers were not fazed by LaFayette’s fast, aggressive approach. Cazenovia seized a 5-3 lead in an active first quarter and would double that margin to four goals, 9-5, by the time they reached the break.
Making the proper adjustments, the Lancers started winning face-offs on a regular basis in the third quarter and took advantage of some penalties against Cazenovia to convert in man-up situations. That led to six unanswered goals from LaFayette in that period.
Now trailing 11-9, the Lakers regrouped, shored up the defense and tried to fight back. Except for a Brian Phillips goal with 5:30 left, Cazenovia blanked LaFayette in the fourth quarter, but that tally proved enough, the Lakers unable to force it to overtime.
Connor Cannizzaro still managed four goals and one assist, with Ryan Cook adding three goals and Brad Nardella getting two goals and two assists. Kyle Brown had a goal and two assists as Alex Sullivan managed one goal and one assist. Henry Mann also had an assist.
Trevor Cross made 11 saves, just one less than LaFayette counterpart Elliott Lyons. For the most part, Phillips, with five goals and one assist, and Nate Beresovoy, with three goals and five assists, paced the Lancer attack.
Just getting to that LaFayette game unblemished was difficult enough, as Cazenovia went to Tully last Tuesday and trailed through most of the first half before turning things around in the latter stages and, mostly led by Cook, hanging on to beat the Black Knights 10-8.
Tully had no intention of letting the Lakers run wild, especially after it played a strong first quarter and seized a 4-2 lead. For the rest of the half, the tempo slowed, and Cazenovia had to stay patient, shoring up its defense to keep close and move within 5-4 by halftime.
Winning more of the draws in the third quarter, Cazenovia made a move, outscoring the Black Knights 4-2 in that frame to take the lead, not getting frustrated as Tully goalie Dan Sherlock continued to make big stops on his way to 18 saves for the afternoon.
Then the Lakers clamped down again, limiting Tully to a single goal in the last 12 minutes and getting clutch stops from Cross, who finished with nine saves.
Cazenovia didn’t mind that Tully’s defense ganged up on Cannizzaro, for that just left room for Cook as he carried the Lakers’ attack with seven goals.
Despite all the attention, Cannizzaro still managed two goals and one assist, with Nardella adding a goal and two assists. Jake Falge and Conor Race also earned assists as Cyrus Nash and Adrian Nash, each with two goals and one assist, led a balanced Tully attack.
The loss to LaFayette still left Cazenovia at 9-1, and it could regain momentum in a big way if it beat CBA (8-2) in Tuesday night’s highly-anticipated clash at Alibrandi Stadium before another tough game at home Friday against Westhill, who started this week 8-2 and met 8-2 Marcellus on Tuesday just as the Lakers and Brothers squared off.