Over the decades, the Skaneateles and LaFayette boys lacrosse teams have enjoyed many epochal encounters, but one common theme throughout them was that, even when things seemed bad early in the season, the Lancers would find a way to turn things around.
And that has happened again, with LaFayette overcoming a 3-7 start to win three in a row, including its latest battle with Skaneateles that saw the Lakers nearly make a big fourth-quarter comeback, but take a 14-13 defeat.
These same teams had met on March 30 and produced the same 14-13 final score – but that had gone in favor of Skaneateles. This was something LaFayette remembered even as both teams went in vastly different directions, the Lakers building a 10-2 record and rising as high as no. 6 in the state Class D rankings.
So when they met again, a more confident Lancers squad matched everything Skaneateles threw at them during a closely played first half. Then, up 8-7 at the break, LaFayette nearly got away, outscoring the Lakers 5-1 in that frame as Ian Evans (five goals, four assists), Reid Jackowski and Evan Spratt (three goals each) led the charge.
Trailing 13-8, Skaneateles almost pulled it off, making up its lost ground in the fourth quarter as Reggie Buell, matching Evans’ total of five goals and four assists, led the way, but the Lancers would hang on.
One of the things LaFayette did on defense was hold Pat Hackler to two goals and one assist, the same total as Matt Goetzmann. Patrick Major and John Danforth each had one goal and one assist as Jeremy Castle, Nick Wamp and Tristan Custer also scored.
Still at 10-3, and still at no. 8 in the state Class D rankings, Skaneateles could regain its footing if it beat no. 5-ranked Christian Brothers Academy Thursday night at Hyatt Stadium and avenged a 15-6 defeat to the Brothers a month earlier.
And it nearly recover, Skaneateles outplaying CBA for long stretches, but again seeing long lapses on the defensive side prove costly in a 12-9 defeat.
It took more than five minutes for Buell to put the Lakers on the board, but Skaneateles didn’t score again until Danforth converted with nine seconds left in the period, and in the intervening time CBA netted four straight goals to move out in front.
Now the Lakers’ defense stepped up, blanking the Brothers for much of the second quarter. Meanwhile, Hackler and Will McGlynn both scored to tie it, and Hackler’s goal with less than five minutes left in the half put the home side in front, 5-4.
CBA would turn it around again in the middle stages, pulling even, 5-5, by halftime and then doubling its total during an active third quarter. Hackler did score in the final minute to cut the margin to 10-8, but then it got shut out for most of the fourth quarter until Major’s goal in the last 90 seconds.