Ithaca and Dryden boy’s lacrosse turn focus to heart of schedule

The middle of the schedule provides promise for both teams


Dryden High School
While the weather continues to play a back-and-forth game of warm and frigid weather, two Tompkins County boy’s lacrosse programs have battled through the early schedule and are preparing to take on the heart of the high school lacrosse schedule.

In the Class B field, the Dryden Purple Lions have faced a challenging opening schedule that has put the team below the .500 mark, despite the impressive efforts throughout each game.

An opening matchup with Whitney Point set the Lions behind on the schedule after a hard-fought comeback effort fell short. The loss, while a tough one to swallow for the Lions, provided a lot of positives for the team after just one contest.

Not only did the opening game show the plethora of offensive threats that the Lions bolster, but it showed a determination to battle through close games, even when having slow starts.

The Lions fell behind 4-1 at the end of the first but outscored Whitney Point 5-2 in the second quarter, proving a willingness to stand in the face of adversity.

Dropping the opening game of the season can be a tough hill to climb for any program, but the Lion’s ability to bounce back is what is most impressive from the early string of games, as they handled Oneonta 20-0 in just the second game of the season.

The victory came as a sign of their offensive ability when firing on all cylinders. The team continued to ride the momentum of the big win into its next two games fighting for positive results.

In the game against Elmira-Notre Dame, the Lions, as they had done through the previous two contests, found a variety of scoring throughout their ranks, including the five-goal game from Garet Marsh that went along with the four-goal and two assist day for Robbie Busby.

Similar to the opening game of the season, the Lions were faced with a close contest, this time needing overtime against Notre Dame. The effort would ultimately fall short as the Lions fell in the extra period.

Dryden suffered a similar fate in the following contest against Maine-Endwell, as it fell in a one-goal loss 13-12.

While the losses have outweighed the lone victory in the early games of the schedule, the positives that have emerged from the defeats, if built upon, could lead to the Lions turning close losses into narrow victories.

Ithaca High School
In the larger school action, the Ithaca Little Red started the season off with a string of victories that have, no doubt, planted the seeds of success in the minds of the team and the coaching staff.

Coming off of last season’s Section IV title, the Little Red used its experience to power past Johnson City 10-7 in the first-ever game as head coach for Patrick Hovey.

The early success would continue for Hovey and his team as the Little Red put on a late-game clinic against Binghamton in game number two. With the game contest separated by just one goal into the third quarter, the Little Red came to life offensively, shutting down any hopes of victory for Binghamton. The Little Red came away with a 12-6 victory.

The talented youth that mixes with the skilled senior core for the Little Red is what makes the team so dangerous when looking ahead to the later stages of the season. The senior leadership and play from veterans like Bryce Mitchell, Jack Duthie, and Julian Mangino, make for a solid foundation for younger players like Nick Cartmill and Chase Sposito.

This talented mixture proved enough for the Little Red as it edged out Owego Free Academy and then stormed by Union-Endicott 18-1.

The red-hot Little Red cooled off in their next two contest dropping a 9-8 decision to Vestal and then falling 15-5 to Fairport. While the season is still young, the defeats pose questions that still can be answered by the team that started the season off firing on all cylinders.

Despite the back-to-back losses through the first six contests, the Little Red have proven themselves to be a threat for another Section IV title.


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