Over the course of its first five games, the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team went 3-2, but something fundamental was missing.
Head coach Doug Rowe spent that time away from the sidelines, thanks to a school-imposed suspension, but now he was back -- just in time to see his team make two bold statements.
Traveling to Fayetteville-Manlius last Thursday night, the Bees ended years of frustration against the three-time defending Section III Class A champion Hornets, battling its way to a 13-12 victory.
Nerissa Barzee, Emily Maguire and Kara Moschetti led a balanced attack that had the Hornets backtracking from the start. By halftime, B'ville had a 7-5 lead.
All through the second half, F-M would find success and get goals, but B'ville answered every time, and held on at the end.
Moschetti had a team-high five points, scoring twice and adding three assists. Barzee had four goals, with Maguire adding her own three-goal hat trick.
Meghan Merriam also found the net twice, as Jen Fabian (two assists) and Taylor Gray offered single goals in support. Splitting time in the net, Amanda Caloia and Casey Chiesa had eight saves.
Now B'ville looked to avoid a letdown Saturday, when it hosted Liverpool. It would, with terrific defense and timely goals the main reason why the Bees conquered the Warriors 9-6.
In doing so, the Bees avenged a snow-covered April 5 overtime loss at Liverpool, and refused to succumb to the obvious fatigue springing from the team's third tough game in five days.
For much of the game, neither side led by any appreciable margin. The entire first half was a tense, physical exchange where scoring chances were precious, and when it ended in a 4-4 draw, everyone expected it to come down to a single play again.
B'ville would not let that happen. Led by Courtney Welsh, Emma Albert and Taylor Frink, the Bees' defense never allowed Liverpool many open looks. Chiesa, playing the entire game in the net, made several big stops once B'ville pulled in front. All told, the Bees blanked the Warriors for the game's last 12-plus minutes.