Skaneateles It took the challenge of an old rival, and the danger of falling too far behind early in the campaign, but at just the right moment the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team found something special.
The Lakers trailed its long-time neighbor and nemesis, LaFayette, by as many as four goals and still was down three at one point in the second half of Thursday night’s game at Hyatt Stadium, but roared back with a big fourth quarter and produced an 11-9 victory over the Lancers.
Still breaking in new starters all over the field, Skaneateles had split its first two games, but had lost badly at home to Baldwinsville on March 29, falling behind 10-0 on the way to a 15-7 defeat. LaFayette, meanwhile, was 2-0, off close season-opening wins over Cortland and Marcellus.
In a hint at what was to come later, the Lakers fell behind 3-0 and were shut out much of the first quarter, only to get two goals from Cullen McGlynn and one from Tyler Strods as it pulled even, 3-3, less than two minutes into the second period.
Shaking that off, LaFayette went on a 4-0 run in the next six minutes to snare a 7-3 lead, and even when Connor Hill stopped that run with a goal, the Lakers still trailed 7-4 at the break.
Much of the third quarter was a holding pattern, but that allowed the Skaneateles defense to settle down and shut off the Lancers’ attack lanes, proving especially effective on Nick Geswaldo, who had three goals and two assists to that point.
After a LaFayette goal midway through that period, the Lakers would blank them in the remaining 18-plus minutes. With the defense in top form, the attack soon followed.
Alex Dunn and Sam Duggan found the net to cut the margin to one, and Hill returned to notch the tying goal with 8:08 to play. Less than a minute later, the Lakers attacked again, and Strods flung a shot past LaFayette goalie Clay Rockwell, giving Skaneateles its first lead of the night.
Before the Lancers could respond, Duggan scored with 6:33 left. And the defense, anchored by goalie Kyle Oschner (four saves), broke up all of LaFayette’s attempts down the stretch to preserve a confidence-boosting victory.