CNS girls lacrosse fight past B'ville, 10-9

All the snow on the turf at Bragman Stadium kept the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team from commencing its 2008 season against Westhill on March 29.

As it turned out, the wait of a few days to get started didn't hurt the Northstars one bit.

CNS commenced its second season under head coach Brooke Branoff in an exciting way, going to Baldwinsville Wednesday afternoon and riding the hot play of goalie Alex Gale to a 10-9 victory over the Bees.

True, the Northstars prevailed when Rachel Geruso scored with 40 seconds left in regulation, but it never would have been close to that position without Gale's fine work.

From an early 2-0 deficit, the Northstars came to life in the first half by going on a 6-2 run, unleashing a nicely balanced attack to counteract B'ville's deeper bench.

At halftime, CNS clung to a 6-5 lead. Within the first five minutes of the second half, B'ville tied it, the Northstars went back in front, and the Bees tied it again, leaving it at 7-7.

The next 12 minutes would prove to be crucial. B'ville constantly charged to the CNS net, getting numerous point-blank shots at a go-ahead goal. Every time, Gale got a stick on it, a series of athletic stops that frustrated the Bees. Of her 15 saves, 11 of them came in the second half.

Twice more, CNS would inch ahead, on goals by Ashley Capporizzo and Lis Zuern. Twice more, the Bees came back and tied it, Natalie Chrismer and Quincey Spagnoletti ending the drought against Gale.

So they were tied, 9-9, as CNS picked up the ball with three minutes left. Working the clock, the Northstars patiently waited for the right chance to break toward the net.

Off a stoppage, Geruso, from the right of the net, charged past the defender just enough to rip a shot past Amanda Caloia, again breaking the tie.

Zuern then grabbed the ensuing draw and burned up enough time to help CNS clinch the victory. She also led the team with three goals, adding an assist, as Capporizzo and Geruso each had two goals. Tori Praino, Missy Pacini and Alyssa Cristaldi notched single goals as the Bees' Kara Moschetti led her side with three goals and two assists.

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