Instead of gearing itself up for a busy and challenging homestretch, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team instead spent most of its week in mourning.
The deaths of senior classmates Kevin Goich Jr. and Joshua Davis forced the team to switch up much of its schedule. It postponed last Tuesday's game with Corcoran, then moved up its game at Cicero-North Syracuse 24 hours.
So the Hornets and Northstars faced each other Thursday night. And the time it took for F-M to focus on the game may have made the difference in a 13-12 loss to the Northstars.
CNS, having gained more confidence from a 14-7 rout over Baldwinsville two nights earlier, took charge in the first quarter, blanking F-M and building a 5-0 lead.
F-M finally got on the board in the second period, but spent the game's middle stages in a tense exchange with the Northstars, and still found itself in an 11-6 deficit by the time the final period got underway.
All of a sudden, the Hornets began to surge, leading to a furious charge down the stretch. It got six goals and pulled within one, but could not quite tie things up to force overtime.
Greg Gilroy, with four goals and one assist, led the comeback attempt, often fed by Matt Taylor, who had five assists to go with his single tally.
Anthony Krizman finished with three goals, as Blair Hanson found the net twice. Dave Gilmore and Matt Kutzer also had goals. Steve Ianzito (three goals) and Jeff Gilbert (four assists) led the CNS attack, and Jamie Praino's 14 saves made a crucial difference, too.
After this, the Hornets (8-3) turn its attention to Tuesday night's showdown with archrival West Genesee at Coyne Field.