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Lancaster Boys Lacrosse Survives Frontier and Returns to Sectional Title Tilt

It was perhaps the greatest regular season in the history of Lancaster High School boys lacrosse. An undefeated division championship and an extremely-rare win over powerhouse Orchard Park headlined a banner run.

Barely a blip on the radar was a blowout win over Frontier on a dreary Wednesday in the middle of April.

But the regular season is over. And there’s a big-time difference between the regular season and the playoffs. The Falcons forgot about the lopsided loss and came to Lancaster ready, willing and able to pull off a shocker. And it almost happened.

Visiting Frontier gave the top-seeded Legends all they could handle on Thursday afternoon but Lancaster had just enough to escape with a 9-8 win in a Class A Section VI semifinal.

“It’s playoffs, you know you’re going to get the best out of everybody,” said Lancaster senior goalie Ben Mazur, who made 14 saves in the win. “We’re a senior-heavy team. We know they’re a good team and there were going to be some ups and downs – maybe not to that extreme – but we were ready to do what we had to do.”

Lancaster will play six-time defending champion Orchard Park at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Williamsville North High School for the sectional title. The Legends lost the last two Section VI title games to the Quakers, who have won 25 of the last 27 sectional championships. But Lancaster posted a 10-7 win over OP on May 9 – leading the Legends to believe they have a fighting chance to join Sweet Home (1994) and Clarence (2011) as the only teams to take the sectional boys lacrosse title from the Quakers during their reign.

“We’re pretty excited,” Lancaster coach Dave Mazur said. “Three times in a row we’ve gotten this far and we need to seal the deal. Hopefully we can but we still have some work to do.”

OP also had to overcome an early three-goal deficit in its sectional semifinal before rallying for a 12-7 win over Clarence. But the Quakers’ scare wasn’t even close to the one the Legends faced.

Lancaster rolled to a 17-5 win over Frontier on April 18. But the Falcons weren’t even a bit scared heading into a playoff rematch, taking an early 4-0 lead and then bouncing back to tie the game after the Legends scored seven goals in a row.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Lancaster senior Brett Beetow, whose goal with 3:53 left gave the Legends the lead for good. “It’s the playoffs; anything can happen on any day. We kinda just talked and came together and talked as a team and made the plays we needed.”

The Falcons showed they meant business right from the start in the playoffs, jumping out to a surprising 4-0 lead. The Legends bounced back with seven straight goals and seemed to be in control up 7-4 entering the fourth quarter. But Frontier responded with three in a row, including the game-tying goal with 5:51 left in the fourth by Chris Bellanca, who scored four goals for the Falcon.

Beetow and Ben Napieralski put the Legends ahead for good with back-to-back goals about a minute apart. Frontier got within a goal in the final half-minute and gained possession, but a bit-time defensive play by Lancaster’s Anthony Scoma in the final seconds persevered the win for the Legends.

“The kids played great,’ Frontier coach Sean Muldowney said of his team. “When you lose a game like that, as much as it still hurts, you can still respect it. That was a very good game between two very good teams – and the better team won today.”

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