Update: Penn Yan boys lacrosse falls to Cazenovia
American poet John Whittier was quite right when he wrote, "of all the saddest word of tongue or pen, the saddest of these it might have been."
The Penn Yan Mustang boy’s lacrosse team, for the second straight year, was poised to march toward another New York State Class C lacrosse title. They had once again made the final four. And, once again, a stubborn team from Section III — Cazenovia — was the only thing blocking their travel plans for a weekend game on Long Island.
Last year, it was the Lakers of Cazenovia who derailed the Mustang Express hopes, downing Penn Yan 8-7. One year later, the stage was set again. The No. 1 and No. 2 ranked Class C high school lacrosse teams in the state were set to lock horns again. The Mustangs were poised to rewrite the script and emerge the team to advance and make Cazenovia the ones to go home. But once again for the Orange and Blue forces, it was "de ja vu" at its cruelest.
Cazenovia, using a deliberate, ball control game plan and a tough zone defense, prevailed once again, defeating Penn Yan 8-6.
The game, played at Cicero-North Syracuse High School before a large contingent of fans from both towns, started out well for the Yates County laxers.
Penn Yan scored the first two goals of the game and led 2-1 after one quarter. The Mustangs upped their lead to 3-1 early in the second quarter, but the deliberate Cazenovia game plan started to take hold as the Lakers fought back to even the game at 4 halfway through.
The methodical play of Cazenovia was even more prominent in the second half. The Lakers held the ball for long stretches looking for the perfect shot and using a lot of clock time along the way. This stymied the high-scoring Mustang offense. Cazenovia outscored Penn Yan 2-1 in the third and fourth quarters and held the winning edge right up to the final horn. The C-NS scoreboard delivered the sad message to the Mustangs and their loyal supporters. Cazenovia 8, Penn Yan 6.
When the game of the night becomes the final game of the season, it can become especially difficult and emotional.
More so when you are a senior, and the end of the season is in fact the end of your high school career. This certainly was the case for a group of talented Mustang seniors.
Rion Davison scored a goal and added 2 assists in his PYA finale. Teammate Andrew Perl continued his late season scoring prowess with 3 goals. Bradley Voigt, the PYA program's all-time leading scorer, scored the opening goal of the game, his 252nd and last of his magnificent Mustang career. And goalie Brandon Maciejewski, a fixture in the Mustang nets since his early teens, was once again steady, making 11 saves.
Sean Emerson added an assist and Austin Fingar scored the final Penn Yan goal of the evening and also assisted on two others. The seniors will move on to collegiate venues next year with new lacrosse challenges facing them. They will remember and cherish their Mustang playing days for sure.
The returning Orange and Blue laxers will regroup and reset their high goals for next year. The 2014 campaign was a good one for the Mustangs. They finished their season with a 16-4 record including wins over some very talented opponents.
As the Brooklynese chant goes, “Wait 'til next year.” And perhaps the “Lacrosse Gods” will bring Penn Yan and Cazenovia back together again: two talented high school lacrosse programs on a mission. And this time, hopefully, Orange and Blue will be the color of the day.