For a long while, a symbol of the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team’s hold on the area small-school ranks was the way it kept frustrating opponents like Westhill every time the Warriors got close to them.
This spring, though, things have changed. It’s Cazenovia who is chasing the top teams, and the Warriors who sit at no. 3 in the state Class C rankings, further proving that point by beating the Lakers 17-5 last Tuesday night at Cazenovia College’s Christakos Field.
When these teams first met April 1, it was a close one, but Westhill pulled it out 8-5, beginning the Warriors’ rise to a three-week run atop the state rankings before CBA beat them on April 27, the team’s lone blemish this spring.
Here, Westhill would get to eight goals before the first quarter was over, and the period concluded with the Lakers trailing 9-1, a blitz the hosts found impossible to recover from, despite improved play the rest of the night.
Thomas Bragg scored twice, with Alex Nowak getting a goal and two assists. Will Shepard and Patrick Nourse had the other goals as Anthony Heaney earned an assist. Combined, R.J. Smith and Chase Cross had 10 saves as Luke McAnaney (five goals, two assists) and Jack Miller (three goals, two assists) led Westhill’s efforts.
The Lakers’ regular season would conclude Saturday, against Holland Patent, and Cazenovia, improving its overall record to 6-10, had little trouble putting away the Golden Knights 16-1, scoring half of its goals in the first quarter and building a 14-0 lead through three periods.
Shepard set a career mark with seven assists, often passing it to Bragg, who scored four times and added two assists. Nowak, Cole Basic, Chris Becker and Steve Lafever had two goals apiece, with Nourse getting two assists. Heaney had one goal and one assist. Goals also went to Will Khalil, Jon Maracek and Matt McLaughlin.
Meanwhile, Chittenango went to Carthage last Monday night and lost, 18-7, to the Comets, who were steady throughout the evening as it built a 10-4 halftime advantage and never let the Bears put together a sustained scoring spurt.
Still, Seth Spurgeon, Zach Weyand and Eddie Houle each found the net twice for Chittenango, with Bill Demand getting one goal and one assist.
Ryan Pitt had the other goal as Jackson Lawrence and Caleb Bernard joined Spurgeon and Demand getting single assists. Carson Maciag had 10 saves as Weston Gray (four goals, one assist), Luke Piroli (three goals, three assists) and Logan Dunn (three goals, one assist) led the Carthage attack.
A day later, hosting Marcellus, the Bears lost a similar 19-7 decision to the Mustangs, despite Trevor Butler’s hat trick.
Grant Czarnecki scored twice, adding an assist, while Demand and Pitt also got goals. Maciag and Cory Fredericks had 18 total saves as Sam Rice led Marcellus with four goals, with Gabe VanOrder getting three goals and three assists and Connor Widrick also getting three goals.
Chittenango got closer on Thursday afternoon in a 15-13 defeat to Bishop Ludden, nearly rallying from an 11-5 halftime deficit as Bernard, with four goals, and Houle, with three goals, led the charge.
Pitt scored twice, with Spurgeon and Czarnecki both getting two assists as Maciag, Cooper Young and Christian Cerio had one goal apiece. Spurgeon gained two assists, while Karl Farber and Tyrrell Downer had one assist apiece. Ludden was led by Bailey Martin (four goals, one assist), Zach Delaney (three goals, two assists) and Dom Delvecchio, who had two goals and four assists.