What was supposed to be the Baldwinsville boys lacrosse team's final requiem for a great season gone wrong turned, instead, into a rebirth.
Fueled by new blood in its struggling attack, the no.6 seed Bees ignored the rumors of its demise and, in an inspired comeback, knocked off no. 3 seed Cicero-North Syracuse 10-8 in last Friday's Section III Class A quarterfinal at Archie Hall Stadium.
Everything at B'ville appeared to have gone sour when, on April 30, leading scorer Billy Ward suffered his season-ending broken collarbone. The Bees, 9-2 at the time, went 2-5 the rest of the way, falling to that no. 6 seed.
But in the week prior to the playoffs, head coach Peter Fiorini, trying to inject life into an offense gone limp since Ward went out, called up some players from the JV ranks-- including sophomore Kyle Stier.
This didn't seem so important in the early going against CNS, a no. 3 seed that appeared to have coped well with the fact that its top player, Stephen Ianzito, was out for the season with a torn ACL suffered May 9 in an overtime loss to Fayetteville-Manlius.
Thanks to two quick goals by James Haney and a tally from Sean McCaffery, the Bees were quickly down 3-0, something that may have caused the Northstars to relax a bit, knowing how much B'ville had struggled to score with Ward sidelined.
What CNS didn't count on, though, was Styer turning into an instant star. He got B'ville on the board with a goal late in the first quarter -- which, combined with Pat Mahar's tally, made it 3-2 at the end of the period.
Styer's second goal, midway through the second period, tied it 4-4, and B'ville didn't stop there. Evan States, on a man-up situation, converted to put the Bees in front 5-4, and Kevin McMahon's goal doubled the margin to 6-4 in the last minute before halftime.