Sep 09, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Neighbors are joining up in soccer as both of Chittenango’s sides have moved into the Onondaga High School League’s Liberty division, where Cazenovia is a long-time resident.
It happens just as the Lakers are attempting to enter a period of larger prosperity, with a real desire to challenge for top OHSL Liberty division and Section III Class B honors.
Cazenovia did not take the field until last Tuesday, when it went to Jordan-Elbridge and, propelled by a big first-half effort, defeated the Eagles 5-2.
After a 10-7-1 mark in 2011 and a Class B quarterfinal defeat to South Jefferson, the Lakers, coached by Adam Reynolds, want to make a further step up the league and sectional ranks.
The J-E game offered a good hint at the Lakers’ potential, as Cazenovia zoomed out to a 3-0 halftime lead and matched all of J-E’s production in the second half to keep that margin.
Conner Polsin, with two goals, led a well-balanced attack where Trevor Cross, Ross Gerber and Henry Mann also found the net. Conor Race added an assist.
Now the Lakers had to visit Solvay on Thursday – this after the Bearcats had beaten Chittenango. But Cazenovia wasn’t too impressed, taking over early and rolling to a 4-1 victory at Earl Hadley Stadium to improve its mark to 2-0.
All through the first half, Cazenovia pushed hard, and it translated to a trio of goals and a 3-0 margin. From there, the Lakers breezed the rest of the way as Polsin, Gerber and Mann all took turns finding the net. Again, Race earned an assist.
To complete a perfect 3-0 week, the Lakers hosted Manlius-Pebble Hill Saturday and, in overtime, emerged with a 3-2 victory over the Trojans.
That the Lakers could rescue it in OT was a tribute to the team’s fortitude. Ahead 2-0 at halftime, Cazenovia blew that advantage as MPH got goals from Gerrit Church and Bryce Church to pull even in the second half.
But the Lakers pulled it out, as Polsin, Race and Will Fellows all earned goals. Brody Kellish and Tyler Modzeleski had one assist apiece. Cal Dougherty, playing in goal, earned six saves.
Hosting its own tournament on Labor Day weekend, Chittenango beat Central Square 2-1 in the opening round on Aug. 31, pushed there by Connor McGrath, who scored in the first half and converted again in the second half to break a 1-1 tie. Andrew Martin got credit for an assist as goalie Kyle Coon made seven saves.
But in the Sept. 1 final against Cortland (who beat Oneida 4-0 in the other half of the opening round), the Bears got run over by the Purple Tigers in a 6-1 defeat.
Even though McGrath put home his third goal, the Purple Tigers seized a 2-1 lead by halftime and dominated in the late going behind a hat trick from Victor McCutcheon.
When league play kicked off last Tuesday, the Bears’ defense remained a big issue during that 6-3 loss to Solvay. Kyle Prenoveau scored twice in the second half and McGrath earned the other goal, but that all came after Solvay took a 3-0 first-half lead, and the Bearcats matched Chittenango’s production in the late stages, too.
Cazenovia and Chittenango get together on Tuesday night for the first of two regular-season encounters before the Lakers face Westhill and the Bears get J-E, both on Thursday.