As it started 2-0, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team, under first-year head coach Brooke Bramoff, saw its chances of testing itself against the elite teams in Central New York thwarted on two different occasions.
First, the Northstars' game with Fayetteville-Manlius on April 5 was halted at halftime due to a snowstorm, and pushed back until last Friday night. Eleven days later, another blast of snow closed schools and forced the game with West Genesee to be moved to May 3.
Thus, CNS was forced to play three times in as many days -- but flourished, anyway, capping this stretch with a huge win over its biggest rival.
That took place Thursday night, at Bragman Stadium, where the Northstars' strong all-around effort led to a 9-8 victory over the Liverpool Warriors.
If the Warriors had any doubts about CNS, Ashley Waldron erased them. Taking the ball near her own net, Waldron ran more than 90 yards, up the middle of the field, to the opposite end, then picked up her own missed shot and fired it past Mikey Meagher to put the Northstars on the board 4:37 into the game.
This set the tone for an evening where CNS would never trail. It built an early 3-1 edge, and after Liverpool tied it up, Lis Zuern and Morgan Silva answered with two goals in a span of 12 seconds, building the foundation for a 6-4 halftime edge.
Whenever something bad happened -- like goalie Alex Gale's giveaway early in the second half that led to an easy Warrior goal -- CNS would regroup, as Mary Stimson scored twice in a 27-second span to make it 8-5.
Right to the end, Liverpool hung in there, closing within one on Leah Lazarz's goal with 1:46 left, but CNS's defense, which had forced turnovers all night, did so one more time, allowing the hosts to run out the clock.