May 12, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, they began the last full week of the regular season far apart when it came to win-loss records, but perhaps the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool boys lacrosse teams saw that large gap close before they met in Tuesday’s regular-season finale at Bragman Stadium.
The Warriors, making a big late push to get into the Section III Class A playoffs, won twice last week, starting with last Tuesday’s visit to Central Square, where a suddenly-potent attack unleashed itself again in a 15-5 romp over the Red Hawks.
Central Square’s attempts to slow the game down backfired as Liverpool led 6-1 after one period and kept on going until it owned a comfortable 10-1 halftime margin.
It eased up from there, but the Warriors cruised to the win. Dom Castiglia, by himself, matched the Red Hawks by scoring five times, while Justin Renk and Dillon Rogers each got a pair of goals.
Kendall Keahey had a goal and two assists, with Anthony Calabrese, Pete Sterio and Antonio Rey also getting goals and Matt Sala adding a pair of assists. Kyle Halladay was superb in the net, too, finishing with 10 saves.
From there, the Warriors went on to handle Syracuse East 21-4 on Thursday night, steadily producing goals throughout the first three periods and building a 17-3 lead before the reserves played in the late going.
Renk led with five goals and two assists, with Keahey adding three goals and four assists. Castiglia scored four times as Rey, Sala and Sterio had their own three-goal hat tricks, Rey adding a pair of assists. Steve Audley, Zach Burdick and Tom Straub also earned assists.
As that went on, C-NS, sitting at 10-2 and with the no. 17 state Class A ranking, went to Fayetteville-Manlius and suffered its worst defeat of the season, falling to the Hornets 18-4.
Remarkably, this was the same F-M team the Northstars had beaten 9-6 on April 1. But that was at Bragman Stadium, and it came when the Hornets were still breaking in a host of new starters.
A month later, C-NS found out just how much F-M had improved – and wanted payback. It took just 11 seconds for the Hornets to get on the board as Pat Quinlan won the opening face-off, charged down the field and flung a shot past Northstars goalie Bryan Schenk.
That set the tone for the rest of the night, as C-NS trailed 4-2 after one period and did not even get on the board in the second quarter, the deficit growing to 8-2. Just to further prove its point, F-M outscored the Northstars 7-2 in the third period.
Aside from Tom Koster and Zach Debottis, who scored two goals apiece, only Andrew Burns found the net for C-NS as Koster and Nick Mirizio got assists.
The Northstars did a solid defensive job on F-M’s leading scorer, Jack Wilson, holding him to one goal. But Quinlan’s domination in the face-off circle helped negate that fact, as did the contributions of several other Hornets, with Casey Green (four goals, one assist), Alex Leuze (three goals, three assists) and John Cote (two goals, three assists) leading the way.
Just two nights later, C-NS had to go face the other Class A superpower, West Genesee, and would fare a lot better, even if it lost to the Wildcats 11-5.
The Northstars did find some gaps in WG’s vaunted defense during the first quarter, yet found itself still trailing 5-3 when that period was over. From there, the Wildcats gradually gained control, forcing turnovers and working through long possessions before getting the conversions it needed.
Debottis and Tyler Griffo both scored twice, with Koster getting the other goal and Mirizio adding an assist. Schenk made 10 saves as, for the victorious Wildcats, David Procopio and Tyler Brown earned three-goal hat tricks, with Brown adding two assists.