May 21, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Christian Brothers Academy boys lacrosse team opened up a seven-goal lead late in the first half of last Tuesday’s Section III Class C quarterfinal against LaFayette at Alibrandi Stadium, it bore a resemblance to the two times the Brothers prevailed in head-to-head meetings in April.
And that’s where the resemblance would end.
Improved on every front since those earlier defeats, LaFayette fought all the way back to tie it late in regulation, and then used Percy Booth’s goal early in overtime to complete the rally and stun CBA 16-15, putting an end to a memorable, up-and-down season for the Brothers.
Those first two meetings, played exactly two weeks apart (on April 10 and 24), followed the same general pattern, LaFayette hanging in for a while, but CBA pulling away to win, by margins of 14-9 in the first game and 18-11 in the second.
But that was before the Lancers won five of its last six regular-season games (the only loss to unbeaten, state no. 1-ranked Cazenovia), returned to the state rankings and, as the no. 6 seed in Class C, overcame an early 5-1 deficit to smash no. 11 seed Jordan-Elbridge 19-11 in the May 17 opening round of the sectional tournament.
At the outset, this revival didn’t faze CBA one bit, as it won most of the early face-offs and scored at will against LaFayette’s scrambling defense. Deep into the second quarter, the Brothers enjoyed a 10-3 edge.
But the game turned when the Lancers landed three straight goals late in the half to cut the gap to 10-6. Thus, it could endure a third quarter where CBA matched everything LaFayette threw at them and remained in touch, only trailing 14-10.
Then, at just the wrong moment, the Brothers’ potent attack went cold, and the Lancers pounced, chopping away at the remaining margin until a goal late in regulation tied it, 15-15.
CBA appeared to have weathered the storm when, with a minute left, Andrew Romagnoli and Alex Brunner combined on a big defensive stop and LaFayette committed a penalty.
But with a man-up situation and a chance to win it in regulation, the Brothers couldn’t capitalize, and it went to sudden-death OT, where Booth, who already had two goals on the day, finished off his hat trick and sent the Lancers to the sectional semifinal against Homer.
Romagnoli, in defeat, had six goals and two assists. Jack Zerillo scored three times, with Jack Jeschke adding two goals and three assists. Brunner and Braedon Gait also got two goals, with Brunner getting a pair of assists. Matt Bennett led LaFayette’s comeback, earning 11 points through six goals and five assists.