East Syracuse No championship, or anything close to it, was earned Friday night when the East Syracuse-Minoa boys lacrosse team defeated Jamesville-DeWitt 11-10 on a wet and windy Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
It only felt that way to the giddy ESM players, who swarmed goalie Alec Miller near his cage moments after the defense stopped the Red Rams from forcing overtime in the waning seconds of regulation.
Years of one-sided neighborhood clashes where J-D toyed with the Spartans came to an end on this night as the hosts displayed plenty of skill to move out in front, and poise when it all threatened to fall apart.
What also helped ESM was that it had already played three times, winning them all. By contrast, the Red Rams had just one game (a lopsided 21-3 decision over Chittenango a week earlier) on its ledger, and that lack of action would lead to irregular play on this night.
To start with, the Spartans dominated in the face-off circle throughout the first half. Of the first 13 draws, 10 of them went to ESM as Andrew Messinger kept getting the ball, which led to a lot of time spent in the Rams' end of the field.
Andrew Rosso gave ESM its first lead at 2-1 late in the first quarter. After Griffin Johnson tied it early in the second period, the Spartans, helped by those Messinger face-offs, notched three straight goals, two of them by Tom VanDeusen.
Rosso returned to complete a hat trick late in the half, the Spartans helped by J-D's inability to settle itself on defense, a fact augmented by the absence of top back-line player Sam Mueller due to illness. At halftime, J-D found itself in a rare situation, trailing 7-3 and needing to step up.
And that's exactly what happened in the third quarter. The Rams put Ryan Durkin on face-offs, and he won most of the draws in that period, leading to attacks and, eventually, some success.