POTSDAM Despite their No. 1 and No. 2 respective state rankings, based primarily on their high-scoring offenses, the Cazenovia and Salmon River boys lacrosse teams locked up in a defensive duel on Saturday in a state Class C quarterfinal game at Potsdam high school.
Defending state champion Cazenovia received two goals early in the fourth quarter from Cole Williard while clinging to a one-goal lead and held on for a 7-4 victory over Salmon River.
The Lakers (21-0) move on the state semifinals Wednesday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Cazenovia goalie Trevor Cross was sensational, as was the overall team defense for coach Jim Longos team.
Our defense just played great, our goaltending was lights out, and we shut down one of the highest-scoring offenses in the state, Longo said.
Salmon River (16-1) suffered its first loss of the season, falling to a Cazenovia team that has won three of the last four state championships. In 2012, the Shamrocks took the Lakers into overtime in the regionals before Cazenovia went on to the state crown.
Cazenovia played excellent team defense, which surprised me actually. Its odd that both teams have such high-scoring offenses and we got into a defensive struggle with them, said Salmon River coach Jim Barnes.
Salmon River found itself down 4-1 after one quarter as Henry Mann scored two of his three goals in the early going. Russ Oakes, meanwhile, connected on a pretty fast-break effort for Salmon River.
The teams played a scoreless second quarter before the Shamrocks rallied in the third. Trenton Tarbell and Kyle Lewis connected early to make it 4-3 before an Alex Hunt goal gave the Lakers a 5-3 advantage heading to the final quarter.
Willards two goals three minutes apart early in the fourth frame made it 7-3 and Salmon River could only manage a fastbreak bullet shot from defenseman and University of Albany-bound Dalton Roundpoint for a goal the rest of the way.
Trevor Cross made 10 saves for Cazenovia. Tazz Oakes saved nine for Salmon River.
We just couldnt put the ball in the net when we should have, but sometimes thats the way lacrosse is, said Barnes whose leading scorer, Cornell-bound Kason Tarbell, was held off the scoring sheet. If we faced each other tomorrow, it may be a different story. We executed well, but the ball just wouldnt go in the net.
That included a three-minute nonreleasable Laker penalty for an illegal stick when Salmon River could not connect.
Said Longo: Even though it was 7-4, we were holding our breath because we knew how strong offensively they were.
JAMESVILLE-DEWITT 18, MASSENA 4
In the Class B quarterfinals, the only thing that could slow down the Section 3 champion and state fourth-ranked Rams was a mishap on the bus ride north to Potsdam.
A bird crashed into the front window of the team bus on Route 81, delaying the Rams arrival about an hour and the start of the game about 15 minutes.
After that, Jamesville-DeWitt (18-2) scored four goals in the first quarter and added 10 more in the second for a 14-0 halftime lead.
Griffin Johnson supplied a goal and five assists for last seasons state runners-up. Griffin Feiner scored four goals to raise his season total to a team-high 85. Grayson Burns added three goals for Jamesville-DeWitt.
For Massena (13-6), Evan Kassian tallied a goal and an assist. Dalton Mullin, Jordan Robert and Ross Driscoll all scored once.
Joe Morgan and Mark Palin combined for nine saves in goal for the Rams while Tyler Armstrong made 15 stops for the Raiders.
Jamesville-DeWitt will play in the state semifinals Wednesday at Cicero-North Syracuse.