May 01, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Name an aspect of the game, and chances are that the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team mastered it in the course of Tuesday night’s 12-5 victory over Christian Brothers Academy at Alibrandi Stadium.
From controlling the face-offs to unleashing an explosive attack to relying on a deep, versatile defensive unit, the Lakers handled whatever the Brothers tried to throw at them.
Above all, Cazenovia showed that it could bounce back from a defeat. The Lakers’ 12-11 loss to LaFayette on April 26, a game where it squandered a four-goal halftime lead, left a bad taste.
And Cazenovia, who fell from no. 2 to no. 6 in the state Class C rankings this week, knew that it had to quickly establish itself again, since four of its five remaining regular-season opponents were also in the state rankings.
That included CBA, who occupied the no. 12 spot in the state poll and had made its name this spring under first-year coach Ric Beardsley with a high-octane offense, never scoring less than 14 goals in any of its nine games so far.
Initially, it looked like it would be an up-and-down, high-scoring affair, as CBA answered Ryan Cook’s goal 1:17 into the game with back-to-back tallies from J.R. Zazzara and Alex Brunner.
What no one, even the Lakers, could have imagined that, after Brunner’s goal, the Brothers would not score again for more than 27 minutes of game time, until Braedon Gait converted late in the third quarter.
By that point, Cazenovia was in total command, and not just because of its attack, though Cook and Connor Cannizzaro did score 10 seconds apart midway through the first quarter to push the Lakers ahead for good, and the Lakers went on to claim a 6-2 edge by the end of the period.
The effort began in the face-off circle, where Henry Mann, with some help from Brad Nardella, kept winning draws, giving the Lakers more possession time. It continued with Cannizzaro amassing six goals and Cook contributing three goals, with Nardella, P.J. Brown and Kyle Brown also finding the net.
But the best part was the way the Lakers’ defense completely shut down CBA’s potent attack, holding top scoring threat Cody Radziewicz without a point all night and limiting the likes of Jack Zerillo to a single assist.
The quintet of Joe Colligan, Mike Nourse, Jay Hahn, Eli Mitchell and Keaton Ackermann took turns chasing the Brothers’ forwards and midfielders everywhere, forcing turnovers, and goalie Trevor Cross stopped eight of the 13 shots he faced.
There is no time for Cazenovia to ease up, for it returns home Friday to face a 9-2 Westhill side that’s no. 19 in the state rankings and is coming off its own big win, 13-8, over Marcellus on Tuesday. And there’s still games against Skaneateles, Chittenango and Marcellus to follow.