Marcellus boys roar to 3-0 start

With a 12-7 mark in 2006, the Marcellus boys lacrosse team broke out of its slumber and inched closer to the realm of prime Section III Class C title contenders.

Now, the trick for head coach Pete Ruddy and his Mustangs is to accustom itself to a new home turf (opened last fall) and maintain that drive.

So far, everything has gone to plan.

Playing on a similar artificial surface at Homer to open the 2007 campaign, Marcellus found success and beat the Trojans 10-5.

Breaking a 2-2 first-quarter tie, the Mustangs outscored Homer 7-2 over the game's middle stages to account for its margin.

As a steady defense kept the Trojans from any kind of run, Jeff Watson, Kevin Merriman and Mike McSweeney led a balanced attack.

Watson scored three times, adding an assist, while Merriman had two goals and two assists and McSweeney added a goal and three assists. Sean Connors began his junior campaign with two goals and one assist. Brian Walter and Evan Hughes also scored.

For its home opener Friday night, the Mustangs drew Central Square. Never trailing, the Mustangs had enough firepower to hold off the Red Hawks 11-8.

Really, Marcellus won this game in the first quarter, where it sprinted to a 4-0 lead as Conners, Merriman and McSweeney took turns scoring goals and puncturing Central Square's defense.

From that point forward, it became a chase. Every time Central Square would inch closer -- 5-3 in the second quarter, 9-7 in the third quarter -- Marcellus would come up with a timely goal to maintain its margin. It helped, too, that goalies Marcus Giarusso and Marshall Merritt combined for 13 saves.

Connors, in particular, hurt the Red Hawks as he piled up five goals, most of them fed by Merriman, who earned five assists to go with his single tally. McSweeney had three goals and one assist, while Watson and Brendan Crowley scored, too. Nick Zerillo led the Red Hawks with three goals and one assist.

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