Everyone involved with the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team was quite excited about the prospect of reclaiming the state Class C title at the expense of the same team, Shoreham-Wading River, that had taken the title from the Lakers 12 months ago.
A year of hard work to get back to this point would culminate in last Saturday's championship game at SUNY-Cortland, where Skaneateles would reach the same heights it experienced in 2005 and '06.
But then the whistle blew to start the game -- and it became obvious, quickly, that the dual dream of payback and championship glory would not come true.
Shoreham-Wading River, was downright devastating, putting on a display of great offensive skill in the game's opening stages and never slowing down until it had handed the Lakers a 21-5 defeat and had earned its own back-to-back crowns.
"I'm hugely disappointed," said head coach Bridget Marquardt. "We're so much a better team than we showed today. We never got into our rhythm. Things just didn't go our way."
Quite unlike the 2007 final, when Skaneateles had an early lead and could not hold on to it in an 11-9 defeat, the Lakers never got a chance to enter the argument against its opponent from Long Island.
Off the opening draw, SWR's Jen Devito went in and scored just 16 seconds into the game. Then the Wildcats won another draw, and Erica Devito converted. For good measure, SWR took another draw, attacked again, and scored again, Stephanie Anderson doing the honors.
So it was 3-0, and the game was not even 90 seconds old. Marquardt called a time-out to try and get her team off the collective mat.
"We got spooked (at the start)," said Marquardt. "I told them to pick up their heads, that this was a long game, that we had to fight and that we'd been there before."