As a tough regular-season homestretch loomed, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team hoped, at least, that it still had full control over its neighborhood rivalry with Marcellus.
Yet even that one-time certainty went by the wayside on Friday night, the Lakers getting run over on the Mustangs’ home turf in the first quarter and never fully recovering in a 13-9 loss that dipped the Skaneateles mark to 10-3 on the season.
Since Marcellus, 9-3 on the season, had lost to Westhill 13-9 earlier in the week, there was a bit more urgency to its contest. And that urgency was evident from the opening face-off as the Mustangs won draws, attacked with a purpose and left the Skaneateles defense dazed.
When the horn sounded at the end of the first quarter, the Lakers trailed 6-1, 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.
Alex Brownlee, with four goals, led the Lakers’ efforts, but no other Skaneateles player scored more than once as Josh Kuhns, Jack Dawley, Taylor Haberstock, Tyler Strods and Steve Bright had one goal apiece. More often, they were thwarted, as Marcellus goalie Jake Lilly had 16 saves, more than twice the total of Laker counterpart Max Smith, who had six saves.
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.