Now the easy part was over for the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team.
Though it sat at no. 2 in the state Class C rankings, the Lakers geared up and entered the tough portion of its regular-season schedule, with every opponent possessing plenty of talent and quality, plus a desire to knock off a big-name foe.
That certainly was the case when the Lakers hosted LaFayette Friday night at the Sean Googin Sports Complex. Things went well for a half, but a disastrous third quarter proved costly as the Lakers took its first loss of the season to the Lancers 12-11.
Ever since the Lancers lost to Cazenovia 10-8 on April 4 at Cazenovia College’s turf field, it had broken through with big wins over then-unbeaten Skaneateles on April 16 (11-4) and then ended CBA’s six-game win streak in a 16-14 thriller exactly a week later.
As the first two periods showed, the Lakers were not fazed by LaFayette’s fast, aggressive approach. Cazenovia seized a 5-3 lead in an active first quarter and would double that margin to four goals, 9-5, by the time they reached the break.
Making the proper adjustments, the Lancers started winning face-offs on a regular basis in the third quarter and took advantage of some penalties against Cazenovia to convert in man-up situations. That led to six unanswered goals from LaFayette in that period.
Now trailing 11-9, the Lakers regrouped, shored up the defense and tried to fight back. Except for a Brian Phillips goal with 5:30 left, Cazenovia blanked LaFayette in the fourth quarter, but that tally proved enough, the Lakers unable to force it to overtime.
Connor Cannizzaro still managed four goals and one assist, with Ryan Cook adding three goals and Brad Nardella getting two goals and two assists. Kyle Brown had a goal and two assists as Alex Sullivan managed one goal and one assist. Henry Mann also had an assist.