When it was time for the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse teams to start their respective CNY Counties League slates, they both wanted to find some success before Tuesday’s head-to-head showdown – but neither did.
In the Warriors’ case, it got off to a good start against visiting Baldwinsville at LHS Stadium last Thursday night, but could not follow it up in a 14-4 defeat to the Bees, while the Northstars went on the road and fell to Syracuse 14-6.
As if the B’ville boys needed further motivation when it made the short trip to Liverpool, it came when the first state Class A rankings of the season were released and the Bees were at no. 14, trailing both Fayetteville-Manlius (at no. 8) and West Genesee (at no. 10) among Section III entrants.
Liverpool didn’t care about any of this, and played B’ville to a 3-3 first-quarter draw. But all that the Warriors could produce from there was a single tally in the third period against a stingy Bees defense anchored by goalie Frank Delia, who had 10 saves.
Steve Audley had a part in all four of Liverpool’s scoring plays, finding the net twice and assisting on goals from Cabry Hildmann and Devin Dewane. Dylan Wallace also had an assist as goalie Cole Zaferakis made 11 saves.
On B’ville’s side, Ryan Gebhardt, by himself, outscored Liverpool by netting five goals, plus an assist. Pete Fiorini and Tanner McCaffrey each scored twice, Fiorini adding two assists as Cole Peters, Justin Hunter and Brandon Mimas each had one goal and one assist. Spencer Wirtheim got two assists.
C-NS faced a different experience when it took on Syracuse. Instead of a solid start, the Northstars fell behind the Cougars 5-1 by the end of the first quarter, turning the rest of the game into a catch-up situation.
Brian Rowe and Josh Pickard would score twice for C-NS, with Tommy Flynn getting a goal and two assists. Justin Griffith added one goal and one assist as goalies Hunter Dorgan and Brian Jobin made six saves apiece.
None of that fazed Syracuse, who moved to 5-0 on the season behind a big effort from Ryan Eccles, who put together four goals and five assists as teammate Sterling Claflin scored five times. Jack Kane added two goals and one assist. Robert Martin finished with 11 saves.
Then both C-NS and Liverpool faced the visiting Essex Junction team from Vermont. Going first, the Northstars won, 14-5, over Essex on Friday, the game remaining fairly competitive until C-NS notched five straight goals in the fourth quarter.
Pickard, with four goals, led a deep, well-balanced Northstars attack. Griffith and Austin VanDewalker each scored twice, with VanDewalker adding two assists. Flynn, Josh Brazell and Brody Guido each earned one goal and one assist as Rowe, Jon Abbott and Joel Firth earned goals, too.
Liverpool, when it played Essex Junction on Saturday afternoon, won by a larger margin than C-NS did and proved stingier in the 17-3 victory, blanking Essex in the course of a first half where it built up a 12-0 margin.
Ten different Warrior players scored goals, with Wallace getting four assists to go with his pair of tallies. Kyle Caves scored four times, with Hildmann getting three goals and one assist. Dan Salamino had one goal as Audley, Dewane, Ben Root, Anthony Toscano, Connor Jones and Cade Clouthier also found goals. Ryan McGown had two assists and Andy Paganeli earned one assist.