Early-May defeats to LaFayette and Christian Brothers Academy left the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team with little choice but to get back into a winning form with the Section III Class D playoffs looming.
Yet it nearly fell apart again in last Thursday night’s game against Marcellus, with the Lakers trailing most of the way before Pat Hackler and Reggie Buell combined to help rescue a 9-8 victory over the Mustangs.
Throughout the first half, Marcellus, who lost to Skaneateles 14-10 at home on April 13, claimed face-offs and slowed the tempo down, and it worked, the visitors gaining a 4-2 lead going into the break.
And even though the pace picked up, the Mustangs stayed in front until the fourth quarter, when Skaneateles passed them largely based on a two-pronged attack involving Hackler, who had five goals, and Buell, who scored three times. Patrick Major had the other goal.
Gabe VanOrder got a three-goal hat trick for Marcellus as Matt Reich gained three assists. Sam Rice scored twice, with Shane Rohe and Emmitt Barry each earning a goal and two assists. Matt Connell had the other goal. Mustangs goalie Dan Cusick had a strong game, earning 15 saves.
Before all this, the state no. 9-ranked Lakers went to Tully last Tuesday night and earned a 15-7 victory, but even this game had some doubt in it as the Black Knights seized a 5-3 lead by the end of the first quarter, led by Tyler Edinger, who would finish with three goals and one assist.
Skaneateles settled down, though, and tied it, 6-6, by halftime, proceeding to take over in the third quarter thanks to five unanswered goals. Buell was the catalyst, amassing six assists to go with his pair of goals.
Often, Buell’s passes went to John Danforth and Matt Goetzmann, who earned four goals apiece. Hackler matched Buell’s two-goal output and Will McGlynn also found the net twice, with Major getting one goal and one assist. Tristan Custer added an assist as goalie Scott Oschner overcame his rough start to earn 10 saves.