Marcellus Nearing the end of his high school career, Cazenovia boys lacrosse senior Connor Cannizzaro is bent on making the most of the last opportunity he has to give the Lakers a second sectional and state title in three years.
That was certainly evident in Monday night’s regular-season finale at Marcellus, where without Cannizzaro’s singular ability, it’s far less likely the Lakers may have survived its battle with the Mustangs and emerged with a 13-11 victory.
Cannizzaro began to take charge in the second quarter. With the game 1-1, he knifed his way through Marcellus defenders, creating a series of scoring chance and converting as the Lakers gained a 7-5 halftime advantage.
Much of the rest of the game involved a chase, Marcellus keeping up behind three-goal hat tricks from Kevin Hutchings and Mike McNaney and five assists from Tom McNaney.
Yet every time the Mustangs got close, the Lakers inched further away, Cannizzaro not stopping until he had picked up six goals, nearly half his team’s output, plus a pair of assists.
Marcellus could not concentrate on Cannizzaro, either, since the trio of Brad Nardella, Henry Mann and P.J. Brown was busy getting two goals apiece, with Alex Sullivan and Jake Stowell also scoring. Were it not for Mustang goalie Jake Lilly making 17 saves, perhaps the Lakers would enjoy a more comfortable margin.
The win moved Cazenovia to 14-2 on the season, awaiting to see where it will get seeded for the Class C playoffs on Wednesday, with the first round on Thursday and the quarterfinals on Saturday.