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Bronxville's bid for Section 1's first state title in a decade came up just short on Saturday afternoon at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. Section 3's Cazenovia outscored the Broncos 4-1 in the decisive fourth quarter to pull off a 13-11 comeback victory in the NYS Class C final.
"It was a tale of two halves," Bronxville coach Tim Horgan said. "(Cazenovia) possessed the ball and wore down the defense. We had to clear on first opportunity, but our defense was tired from the ball being down there so long. By the time the fourth quarter came around, the boys had a hard time clearing."
Hopkins-bound senior attackman Jack Grass powered Bronxville's attack with seven points on three goals and four assists. Henry Grass and Brewster Warble added three goals apiece, while Matt Behrens and Liam Lynch each scored once. Goalie Eric Pass was spectacular with 19 saves.
Maryland-bound star Connor Cannizzaro led the Lakers with four goals and three assists. Kyle Brown scored a game-high five goals and P.J. Brown and Kyle Brown each scored twice. Goalie Trevor Cross stopped nine shots.
Bronxville (22-2) — which was coming off an upset semifinal win over defending champ Shoreham-Wading River — looked strong early on. The Broncos jumped out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead, rattling off five straight goals inside the final 6:52 of the quarter. Cazenovia came to life in the second quarter, outscoring Bronxville 4-3 to cut the deficit to 8-5 at the break.
The Lakers wrested control of the game over the final two quarters of play, exploding for eight goals to take home their second state title in three years. Cannizzaro did much of the damage, recording three goals and two assists over the final 24 minutes. He snapped a 10-10 tie with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter, scoring an unassisted goal to give Cazenovia its first lead since the 8:16 mark of the opening quarter. The Lakers followed it up with two more goals to seal it.
"(Charlie) Tarry forced Cannizzaro underneath like we wanted, but the slides were a step slow a few times," Horgan said.
Bronxville appeared to extend its lead to 10-7 late in the third quarter, however, a Behrens goal was waived off after the head of his stick rocketed off from the shaft. Cazenovia's Cook scored a transition goal off the ensuing restart.
"Instead of it being 10-7, it turned to 9-8 just like that," Horgan said.
Cazenovia held an upper hand in most of the statistical categories. They outshot Bronxville 57-33 and won the ground ball battle, 41-30. Faceoffs were even with each team winning 14. The Broncos were hurt the most by turnovers, committing 18 to the Lakers' 10.
It was a bittersweet ending to the best season in Bronxville program history. The Broncos have become a legit Section 1 power over the past three seasons, compiling a record of 63-6 while winning three straight Class C sectional crowns.
"Overall, it was a great season," Horgan said. "We have accomplished a lot in the last three years as a team and look to build on it moving forward."
GAME NOTES: The last Section 1 team to win a state title was Yorktown in 2003 … Only two Section 1 teams — Yorktown and Mahopac — have ever won a state title. Yorktown has six to its name, while has one … Matt Behrens finished the season with a team-high 103 points (62G, 41A) for Bronxville. Henry Grass (60G, 40A) and Jack Grass (41G, 56A) were second and third, respectively.
Bronxville 5 3 2 1 11
Cazenovia 1 4 4 4 13
CZ (8:16) Kyle Brown from P.J. Brown | 1-0 CZ
BX (6:52) Henry Grass from Jack Grass | 1-1
BX (6:46) Liam Lynch unassisted | 2-1 BX
BX (5:24) Jack Grass from Will Duncan | 3-1 BX
BX (4:53) Brewster Warble from Jack Grass | 4-1 BX
BX (3:02) Henry Grass from Jack Grass | 5-1 BX
CZ (11:16) Ryan Cook unassisted | 5-2 BX
BX (10:34) Matt Behrens unassisted | 6-2 BX
CZ (8:58) P.J. Brown unassisted | 6-3 BX
CZ (8:07) Connor Cannizzaro unassisted | 6-4 BX
BX (2:52) Jack Grass unassisted | 7-4 BX
BX (2:10) Warble from Duncan | 8-4 BX
CZ (1:59) Cook from Cannizzaro | 8-5 BX
CZ (11:12) Cook unassisted | 8-6 BX *
CZ (6:43) Cannizzaro unassisted | 8-7 BX
BX (6:10) Warble unassisted | 9-7 BX *
CZ (5:14) Ryan Cook unassisted | 9-8 BX
BX (4:37) Henry Grass from Jack Grass | 10-8 BX
CZ (4:29) Cook from Cannizzaro | 10-9 BX
CZ (11:15) P.J. Brown from Alex Sullivan | 10-10
CZ (9:28) Cannizzaro unassisted | 11-10 CZ
CZ (5:04) Kyle Brown from Cannizzaro | 12-10 CZ
CZ (4:55) Cannizzaro unassisted | 13-10 CZ
BX (2:06) Jack Grass unassisted | 13-11 CZ
* Indicates man-up goal
Bronxville: Jack Grass (3G, 4A); Henry Grass (3G); Brewster Warble (3G); Will Duncan (2A); Matt Behrens (1G); Liam Lynch (1G)
Cazenovia: Connor Cannizzaro (4G, 3A); Ryan Cook (5G); P.J. Brown (2G, 1A); Kyle Brown (2G); Alex Sullivan (1A)
Bronxville: Eric Pass (19 saves)
Cazenovia: Trevor Cross (9 saves)
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass