Mar 29, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Someone new, and someone familiar, had a large part in giving the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team a successful launch to the 2013 season.
Max Smith, taking over in goal, had a superb first half to keep his team close, and then Alex Brownlee took over on the offensive end in the second half to push the Lakers past Baldwinsville 7-5 Thursday in the Finger Lakes Classic at Marcellus High School.
Deciding he did not want to be in the net anymore, Ryan Higman switched positions, leaving the goalie spot he occupied last season to start on the attack. That created an opening for Smith, a junior who stepped into the pivotal spot anchoring the Lakers’ defense.
They would all face a real challenge on a cold, windy Thursday against Baldwinsville, an annual Class A contender with enough firepower to make a title run this spring.
All through the first quarter, the Lakers found itself defending its own end against the Bees, who seized a 2-0 lead on goals by Steve Petrelli and Zach Bulak 22 seconds apart.
Jack Fabrizio, part of an experienced trio of Skaneateles midfielders, got his team’s first goal, and with the Laker trailing 3-1 in the waning seconds of the period, Tyler Strods found the net off a Bees turnover and cut the margin back to one.
Much of the second quarter was a stalemate. Again, the Bees pushed hard, but on shot after shot Smith turned them away, not stopping until he had 10 saves overall for the first half. That, by itself, helped the Lakers go to the break with just a 4-3 deficit.
Frustrated, the Bees started committing a series of penalties in the third quarter. Skaneateles, at first, did not take advantage of these man-up situations, turning the ball over in the style of a team still working through the kinks of a season opener.
However, Brownlee changed things. The senior attacker, fresh off leading the boys basketball Lakers to the Section III Class B final earlier this month, fed Taylor Haberstock for the tying goal late in the third quarter, but was just getting warmed up.
It was Brownlee who put in the go-ahead goal less than two minutes later, and he struck again with a goal just 3.5 seconds before the period ended.
After the Bees’ Austin McAskill cut the Bees’ deficit to 6-5 early in the fourth quarter, Brownlee, in another man-up situation, completed his hat trick with 7:45 left.
Then the Lakers’ defense did the rest, turning back all of B’ville’s late comeback attempts as Smith made two more point-blank saves, giving him 15 for the day and giving Skaneateles a quality win to start a new campaign.
Two days later, Skaneateles returned to the Marcellus turf and faced Auburn. This neighborhood clash went to overtime, where the Lakers beat the Maroons 5-4.
Late in the first OT period, with the matter still unresolved, Strods found his way open and ripped a shot past Auburn goalie Jake Wood to end it.
To that point, Wood had picked up 20 saves, keeping the Maroons close, especially in the first half, when Skaneateles controlled the flow of play but could only build a 2-0 lead.
Auburn got on the board in the third quarter and cut its deficit to 4-3. Then the Maroons blanked the Lakers in the fourth quarter and tied it, 4-4, to force the extra period.
The game-winner was Strods’ second goal of the day. Higman, getting more comfortable on the front line, had a goal and two assists, while Brownlee and Connor Hill also found the net. Fabrizio added an assist as Smith had another solid effort in the net, recording 12 saves.
The Lakers have its home opener Monday, against Clinton, and meet up with defending Section III Class C champion Homer Friday night, also at Hyatt Stadium.