As it waited to make up its snowed-out April 15 game with state no. 4-ranked Marcellus, the Cazenovia girls lacrosse team had a lot of work to do to make sure that game meant more.
And the easiest way to do so was get a big win over someone else – which is exactly what the Lakers pulled off Thursday morning when it beat state no. 3-ranked Bishop Ludden 11-6 at Cazenovia College’s Christakos Field.
The Gaelic Knights had started 6-0 before a 15-3 defeat to no. 1-ranked Skaneateles two days earlier. Cazenovia wasn’t about to let them recover.
Both teams were quiet at the start, and Cazenovia trailed, 2-1, deep into the first half. Then Audrey Burbidge put home the tying goal and Grace Milmoe’s conversion at the 20:04 mark gave the Lakers its first lead.
By halftime, two more goals – one from Milmoe, the other from Jessie Matt - had the Lakers in front, 5-3. After Ludden cut the gap to 5-4 early in the second half, Matt struck twice more, giving her the hat trick and Cazenovia a 7-4 cushion.
Once more, the Lakers traded one goal for two, as the Gaelic Knights pulled within 7-5, only to have Keeley Race score before Matt found the net a fourth time, doubling the margin to 9-5.
No matter what Ludden tried, Cazenovia always pushed further away, capping things with late goals from Burbidge (her third of the game) and Madison Gabor. Matt, in addition to her four goals, got a pair of assists, as did Race. Zantha Hourigan was superb in the net, recording eight saves.
Going to Onondaga last Tuesday afternoon, the Lakers endured plenty of wind and rain, not to mention a struggling defense, but still did enough to edge past the Tigers 16-14.
Through a back-and-forth first half, Cazenovia fought its way to an 8-6 lead. And the second half was just as wild, the Lakers answering every OCS charge with one of its own and overcoming a superb effort from Cori Holbrook, who led the Tigers with seven goals and four assist.