Apr 02, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just by the numbers, the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team began its 2014 season Tuesday night by hammering Marcellus 18-8 in the first meeting between the rivals since last May’s Section III Class C final at the Carrier Dome.
However, the real work for the Lakers commenced on June 8, 2013, moments after it lost, 15-6, to Mount Sinai in the state title game at SUNY-Cortland.
Right there, a large cast of Skaneateles players that would return for this season began the process of training and preparation, squarely focused on getting back to that same Cortland turf this June and finishing on top.
A tough set of scrimmages late in March, including a trip to Wilton, Conn., to play top teams from across the Northeast, preceded the opener, where Marcellus, who had rolled past Jamesville-DeWitt 18-7 in its March 28 opener, awaited.
The Mustangs also have a solid core of returning players, including Grace Nolan, Grace Hunt, Ally Burrows and Nicole Cerrone. And it grabbed an early 2-1 lead on Skaneateles on goals from Burrows and Hunt just 43 seconds apart.
After that, though, it was all Lakers. Molly Wood and Alana Navaroli controlled the draw circle, giving Skaneateles a series of possessions, and it took full advantage, pouring in six unanswered goals in a span of slightly more than three minutes.
Two of those goals, by Wood and Navaroli, were nine seconds apart. Hannah Powers also scored twice, with Kyla Sears and Natalie Roche also finding the net as Skaneateles rushed to a 7-2 lead.
Though the Lakers slowed down for a while, it closed the first half with another decisive rush. Back-to-back goals from Wood, along with goals from Navaroli and Sears just before the horn, stretched out the Skaneateles lead to 12-3 by halftime.
Not letting up, Skaneateles made it 18-4 at one point late in the second half before head coach Bridget Marquardt pulled the starters, knowing that bigger challenges (along with a rematch with Marcellus on May 7) still loomed ahead.
Powers finished with four goals as Sears, Wood and Navaroli each got three goals and Wood added a pair of assists. Roche scored twice as Nicole Beatson, Bailey Herr and Casey VanSlyke each got one goal.
Skaneateles had its home opener on Thursday against Westhill and had little trouble pushing past the Warriors 13-2.
Unlike with Marcellus, the Lakers’ defense would engineer a first-half shutout, taking away all of Westhill’s lanes and controlling the ball for long stretches once it won the draws.
Steadily, Skaneateles wore the Warriors’ defenses down. It was only 3-0 midway through the first half, but Sears scored twice in the latter stages of the half, one of five different Lakers to do so, turning a modest margin into a 9-0 halftime cushion.
Continuing to pull away late, the Lakers saw Sears finish with three goals and two assists. Wood also scored three times as Beatson managed two goals and two assists and Powers added two goals and one assist. Navaroli earned a goal and two assists, with VanSlyke and Hannah Logan also converting.
But another big test takes place Saturday night, when Skaneateles hosts reigning state Class B champion Christian Brothers Academy, who has rolled to season-opening wins over Whitesboro (21-0) and East Syracuse-Minoa (15-4) so far.