May 04, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Three nights after squaring off with each other, the Marcellus and Westhill boys lacrosse teams were charged with separate assignments against state-ranked Laker opponents on Friday – and both would succeed.
The Mustangs, on its home turf, earned a satisfying 13-9 victory over Skanetaeles, while the Warriors, completing one of the best weeks in program history, went to Cazenovia and prevailed 8-7 in overtime.
Since Marcellus had lost to Westhill 13-9 on Tuesday night, there was a bit more urgency to its contest, especially with Skaneateles in town. For a long time, the Lakers had claimed ownership of this simmering neighborhood rivalry, and the Mustangs badly wanted to reverse this course.
And that urgency was evident from the opening face-off. Marcellus won draws, attacked with a purpose and left the Skaneateles defense dazed.
When the horn sounded at the end of the first quarter, the Mustangs had a 6-1 lead, and the rest of the game turned into a chase, Skaneateles making occasional moves, but Marcellus answering all of them.
That margin held throughout the middle stages, as Marcellus took a 9-4 lead to halftime and then slowed things down in the third quarter, keeping the ball for long periods of time to make sure that Skaneateles couldn’t put any kind of run together.
As it put the game away late, the Mustangs could point to Mike McNaney as the main offensive catalyst, McNaney finishing with six goals, nearly half his team’s output.
Kevin Hutchings, with four assists, and Tom McNaney, with three assists, set up many of the Mustangs’ scoring plays, with Ross Filtch and Morgan Reilly joining Tom McNaney as they each scored twice. Harrison Cox had the other goal and Rich Ghezzi contributed an assist.
During the futile Skaneateles chase, Alex Brownlee put together four goals, but no other Laker scored more than once, a tribute to a solid, consistent Mustang defense and the work in goal by Jake Lilly, who turned back 16 of 25 shots.
Hours earlier, Westhill found itself at the Sean Goggin Sports Complex in Cazenovia, staring right at Cazenovia, who had backed up its no. 6 state Class C ranking last Tuesday with an impressive 12-5 victory over a CBA side that, previously, had not scored less than 14 goals in any previous game.
It was the task of both sides to avoid letdowns from their big Tuesday efforts, and the Warriors benefited from this at the outset, holding the potent Cazenovia attack without a goal in the first quarter. But the Lakers were just as stingy, and when it got on the board in the second period, it managed to pull ahead of Westhill, 3-2, by the time they reached the break.
Now it was the Warriors’ turn to rally, pulling even, 6-6, in the third quarter, and exchanging with Cazenovia throughout a tense final period. A key to Westhill’s success was the way defenders Pete Valenti, Zach Sizing and Franco Tangredi worked in front of goalie Jack Sweeney, who would finish with 16 saves.
Together, Westhill held Cazenovia’s reigining Central New York Player of the Year, Connor Cannizzaro, to two goals, and even though Ryan Cook scored four times, Cazenovia could not avoid a 7-7 tie and a trip to overtime.
Just 1:25 into the OT period, Ryan Suddaby found a gap and fired a shot past Cazenovia goalie Trevor Cross to give Westhill the victory. It was Suddaby’s third goal of the day, matching the hat trick from teammate Jack Centore, while Luke Longo managed a goal and two assists. Ryan Zimmerman also scored as Mark Purcell and Richie Easterly earned one assist apiece.
Having improved to 10-2 on the season, the Warriors should move up from its no. 19 state Class C ranking, and Marcellus moved to 10-3 with its win over Skaneateles. And they both take on CBA next week – Westhill on Tuesday night, followed by Marcellus on Thursday.