By Jaclynkelli Kronemberg
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 6/7/15
VESTAL, N.Y – Taylor Strough scored four goals and Cold Spring Harbor withstood a late rally to defeat defending champ Cazenovia, 9-8, Saturday to win the New York Class C state title at Vestal High.
The Seahawks (19-1), who won their 18th straight game, claimed their first state title since 2006.
Matt Licciardi added a goal and four assists – all on Striough’s tallies – and won 15 of 21 face-offs for Cold Spring Harbor, which held a 9-6 lead early in the fourth period before allowing the Lakers (20-3) to pull within 9-8 with just over two minutes to play.
“The past two years we’ve been heartbroken losing in the county championship and this team has never been up here to states,” said Matt Licciardi, who assisted on all four of Strough’s goals and won 15 of 21 face-offs. “We knew we were going to come up against the best team possible.
“We just played our tails off. I have to give credit to all my teammates and coaches. This was a great season. I can’t even put into words how this feels. This was amazing. The last 30 seconds my heart was pounding out my chest.”
Cazenovia went up early, grabbing a 3-1 lead going into the second quarter. Cold Spring Harbor responded by owning the second quarter and Ian Laviano’s goal gave the Seahawks a 4-3 halftime lead.
“I’ve dreamt of this all my life,” said Strough. “This is the best feeling in the world. Now we can celebrate; we did it and it’s over.
“That was scary at the end. I saw that clock run out and was like ‘Thank God.’ Licciardi is just always on his face offs. He gets us the ball, that’s what gets us the ball on offense to score. He is our X man. We won as a team, and that’s what needed to be done. Now we can celebrate.”
Laviano later gave his team an 8-5 lead in the third period before PJ Brown pulled Cazenovia within 8-6 late in the quarter. Licciardi found Strough to make it 9-6 early in the fourth, but Cole Willard closed the gap to 9-7 with just over eight minutes left.
“Unbelievable,” said Cold Spring Harbor head coach Dennis Bonn. “I’m so happy for kids, the community and the coaching staff. It’s a whirlwind, you win the counties and then it is boom, boom, boom, one after another.
“You almost don’t have time to breathe. It is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I thought Taylor shot the ball very well today. Matty isn’t just a faceoff guy, he is an outstanding offensive player. I’m happy for everyone especially the seniors.”
PJ Brown tallied three goals and Cole Willard tallied two goals for Cazenovia.
“This was well played by both teams,” said Cazenovia head coach Jim Longo. “They just had a couple more things go their way than ours. That’s the way you want a championship game to be.”
Cold Spring Harbor 9, Cazenovia 8
CSH: Taylor Strough 4G, Riley Cox 2G, 1A; Ian Laviano 2G, Matt Licciardi 1G, 4A
C: PJ Brown 3G; Cole Willard 2G; Jake Stowell 1G; Jake Lewis 1G; Derek White 1G
Saves: Will Doyle (CSH) 9; Brenden Whalen (C)
No. Prd Time Team Type Goal Scorer Assist Home-Vis
1. 1st 7 : 4 7 CAZE E v e n Jake Stowell (1) Unassisted 1-0
2. 4 : 5 8 CSH E v e n Taylor Strough (1) Matt Licciardi (1) 1-1
3. 4 : 3 5 CAZE E v e n PJ Brown (1) Unassisted 2-1
4. 3 : 5 0 CAZE E v e n Jake Lewis (1) Unassisted 3-1
5. 2nd 10:07 CSH E v e n Taylor Strough (2) Matt Licciardi (2) 3-2
6. 7 : 5 6 CSH E v e n Taylor Strough (3) Matt Licciardi (3) 3-3
7. 2 : 5 5 CSH E v e n Ian Laviano (1) Unassisted 3-4
8. 3rd 9 : 5 7 CSH E v e n Riley Cox (1) Unassisted 3-5
9. 7 : 2 3 CSH U P Matt Licciardi (2) Ryan Winkoff (1) 3-6
10. 6 : 1 1 CAZE E v e n Cole Willard (1) Unassisted 4-6
11. 5 : 1 0 CSH E v e n Ian Laviano (2) Riley Cox (1) 4-7
12. 4 : 3 8 CAZE E v e n Derek White (1) Unassisted 5-7
13. 2 : 2 6 CSH E v e n Riley Cox (2) Unassisted 5-8
14. 0 : 1 5 CAZE E v e n PJ Brown (2) Unassisted 6-8
15. 4th 11:12 CSH E v e n Taylor Strough (4) Matt Licciardi (4) 6-9
16. 8 : 2 9 CAZE E v e n Cole Willard (2) Unassisted 7-9
17. 2 : 0 9 CAZE E v e n PJ Brown (3) Unassisted 8-9