Each season, the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team throws aside concerns about won/loss record in favor of a schedule that will include plenty of big tests and, likely, some defeats along the way.
The point, of course, is to absorb tough lessons that will pay off in late May and June, and so far the 2018 season is proving that the Lakers still have plenty to learn.
Visiting undefeated Fayetteville-Manlius last Monday night, Skaneateles held its own for a while, but ultimately the depth and production of the Hornets proved too much as it took a 15-10 defeat.
Led by the likes of Riley Brogan and Grace Dower, the Lakers had plenty of success with its attack in the first half, yet still found itself trailing 8-6 at halftime.
F-M then pulled away in the latter stages, overcoming four-goal efforts from Dower, who had two assists, and Brogan, who got one assist. Olivia Navaroli added one goal and one assist as Gaby Welch also scored.
The difference in this game was that the Hornets had far more scoring options. Katie Shanley, Gemma Addonizio and Kiera Shanley each notched three-goal hat tricks, with Annie Steigerwald adding two goals and three assists. Amanda Cramer also scored twice.
A night later, Skaneateles quickly got back into the win column, handling Chittenango 17-2 with an attack that saw Ionna Christou break out by earning a three-goal hat trick, matching Brogan as Welch picked up a career-best four goals.
Navaroli dished out six assists, with Dower getting two goals and two assists. Anna McGlynn had a goal and three assists, with Maggie Newton adding one goal and two assists. Ellie Peterson and Olivia Dobrovosky had single assists.
A far more important game loomed on Thursday as the Lakers visited Westhill in a match of two likely Class D sectional title contenders, and a good comparison point to the loss Skaneateles took at Marcellus nine days earlier.
At Westhill, the result was different. Dower proved impossible to contain, and with enough defensive stops on the other end, Skaneateles defeated the Warriors 11-9.
Conditions were far from ideal as snow fell throughout the game, but that didn’t stop Brogan. Growing into the role of main scoring threat that Kyla Sears occupied during the 2017 state title run, Brogan burned Westhill for five goals and added four assists, giving her 26 goals and nine assists for the season.
Yet Westhill couldn’t key on Brogan because Navaroli (three goals, one assist) and Dower (two goals, one assist) offered ample support, with Christou getting the other goal while, on defense, goalie Ryley Pas’cal managed seven saves.
Katherine McPeak paced Westhill with three goals and one assist as Katelyn Karleski got two goals and two assists. Maura McAnaney also found the net twice, contributing an assist as single goals went to Reilly Geer and Caroline Miller.
After a much-needed weekend breather, Skaneateles takes a 5-2 record into Tuesday’s game against visiting West Genesee, the first of three games at Hyatt Stadium in four days of the school break as it welcomes Homer on Thursday and Tully on Friday afternoon. Each of those games starts at 1 p.m.