Look closely enough, and you'll find the East Syracuse-Minoa girls lacrosse team rounding into peak form at just the right time.
The Spartans earned its biggest victory of the season on Thursday, at Jamesville-DeWitt, when it used strong defense to subdue the 12-1 Red Rams and win by a score of 10-7.
What made the victory even more impressive was the way the game started -- uneven one moment, interrupted the next.
J-D teammates Meredith Howe and Kristal Buck both scored before the game was two minutes old, the Rams threatening to bury ESM early.
Quickly, the Spartans shook it off, as Gina Campese and Kristen Darcy put in goals that tied it, 2-2. But the two sides had played just six minutes when lightning nearby forced a stoppage, as both teams retreated to their respective buses.
The game would resume, though -- and when it did, ESM edged out in front, allowing just one goal the rest of the first half and taking a 4-3 lead to the break.
As the second half wore on, the Spartans got more confident and attacked with greater frequency, knowing that its defense could hold off whatever J-D tried.
In fact, the Rams took more shots -- but Carissa Ficarro was sensational in the net, finishing with 16 saves, twice the number of J-D counterpart Tara Prosak.
On the offensive side, a trio of Spartans took over, as Tricia Rodgers, Alecia Shaffer and Jennifer Lewis each finished with two goals and one assist. Laura Matthews and Emily Chayka added depth, joining Campese and Darcy in the one-goal column.
As for the Rams, Howe and Melissa Jaworski would each score twice, as Buck, Lauren Sala and Lauren Cobb earned single tallies. Amy LeRoux added an assist.
Earlier in the week, the Spartans stepped out of league play and ripped General Brown in a 14-1 decision.