Apr 18, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Whenever a reigning state champion starts the following season undefeated, a placement atop the state rankings is inevitable.
So it is for the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team, who found itself sitting in the no. 1 spot when the first state Class C poll came out early this week.
Already a big target due to its state title, the Lakers found itself an even bigger catch, but LaFayette wouldn’t get them in last Thursday’s game at Onondaga Community College as first-rate defense pushed Cazenovia past the Lancers 11-3.
Only up 2-1 through one period, the Lakers began to pull away in the second quarter, shutting out LaFayette and extending its margin to 5-1. In the course of the second half, the Lakers doubled its margin and watched defenders like Mike Nourse and Eli Mitchell shut down whatever the Lancers tried.
By himself, P.J. Brown nearly doubled LaFayete’s output, scoring five times. Cole Willard had a three-goal hat trick, while Henry Mann scored twice and Alex Hunt added a single goal.
Yet even that game was overshadowed by the simultaneous girls game between Cazenovia and LaFayette that took place at Cazenovia College, where the girls Lakers made a spectacular comeback late in regulation, only to see it go to waste in overtime of a 13-12 loss to the Lancers.
The two sides went back and forth in the first half, but with little separation. At one point, Cazenovia inched into a 3-2 lead, but LaFayette caught up and reclaimed the lead.
After the Lakers tied it, 5-5, Lexi Peebles’s goal pushed the Lancers back in front, 6-5, just before the break, a fact attributed as much to the work of goalie Paige Skinner, who had seven saves in the first half.
Cazenovia tied it again, 6-6, early in the second half on Abbie McEntee’s goal, but LaFayette took over from there, putting in five unanswered goals to leave the Lakers staring at an 11-6 deficit.
Just in time, though, the Lakers stormed back. In the last 10 minutes, it put in four straight goals (from Madison Gabor, Jessie Matt, Sarah Willard and Grace Milmoe) to move within one, 11-10, and when Audrey Burbidge found the net with less than three minutes left, they were even again, 11-11. Better yet, the Lancers were down a player due to multiple yellow cards.
But Skinner again shut the door, stopping two possible game-winning shots in the last seconds of regulation to force the game to overtime.
In the first of the two three-minute OT periods, LaFayette overcame its disadvantage and got goals from Skye Schumacher and Kaitlyn Agedal for a 13-11 lead. One more time, the Lakers tried to rally, getting a goal in the second OT from Milmoe with a minute left, but the Lancers held on thanks to one more save from Skinner, her 13th of the game.
Matt led Cazenovia’s valiant effort, getting three goals and one assist. Burbidge, Gabor and Milmoe had two goals apiece, while Willard, Abbie McEntee and Taylor Eldred earned single goals. Willard and Olivia McEntee added assists.
On LaFayette’s side, Cassidy Doster scored three goals and added five assists. Schumacher had four goals and one assist, with Agedal, Peebles and Halee Beebe getting two goals apiece.
The Lakers’ game against Marcellus, first moved from Cazenovia to the Mustangs’ home turf last Tuesday and then snowed out, will get made up April 28, after a full week of action for the Lakers that includes three games in five days against Onondaga, Bishop Ludden and General Brown.