Cazenovia senior midfielder Henry Mann (2) reflects the disappointment of the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team as it lost, 13-10, to Bronxville in Saturday's state Class C final at Hofstra University. The Lakers just missed earning its third state title in the last four years.
Just as the horse California Chrome could not quite reach the Triple Crown, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse was denied its own version of the Triple Crown - and just a few miles away from Belmont Park, no less.
Leading in the fourth quarter of Saturday's state Class C final at Hofstra University on Long Island, the Lakers, after a third state title in four years, saw that lead get away as Bronxville rallied to prevail 13-10 for its first-ever state championship.
In doing so, Bronxville gained payback for the 2013 state final at St. John Fisher College near Rochester, where Cazenovia, staging its own comeback, beat the Broncos 13-11 to go to the top for a second time. The Broncos also ended the Lakers' 34-game win streak.
So ended an odd state playoff run where Cazenovia faced the same three opponents as it did a season ago, again beating Salmon River in the regional round and once more stopping Penn Yan in the state semifinals before reuniting with Bronxville.
That three-goal margin, at the end, was the largest of the day for either team. Much of the game was a tense, tight, back-and-forth affair where every thrust was met by an equal thrust from the other side.
Despite goals from Jake Lewis and Cole Willard, Cazenovia trailed, 3-2, after one period. The momentum continued to shift in the second quarter, where Lewis and Willard connected again before Derek White's goal with 1:28 left in the half inched the Lakers in front, 5-4.
But that didn't last, either, as Will Duncan's hard shot eluded Cazenovia goalie Trevor Cross 19.2 seconds before halftime, so the state final was again even, 5-5, at the break, and the game already had featured five ties and three lead changes.
More excitement would follow in the third period. Trailing 6-5, the Lakers reclaimed the lead on back-to-back goals from Lewis and Henry Mann, and after the Broncos tied it, 7-7, Mann struck again to push Cazenovia back in front.