Even though his knee was taped up and he hobbled, Stephen Ianzito ran out to the field and joined his Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse teammates in celebration of a huge victory last Friday at Archie Hall Stadium.
Disappointed one moment when Fayetteville-Manlius tied it at the end of regulation, the Northstars regrouped and beat the Hornets 8-7 on Sean McCaffery's goal 2:03 into overtime, moving its record to 12-2 in the process.
A large and enthusiastic crowd came to Taft Road to see if the Northstars would gain payback from an 8-5 loss to F-M earlier this season.
They didn't find out many answers in a physical first half. Despite forcing F-M into a rash of turnovers and penalties, CNS couldn't take full advantage, instead going to the break in a 3-3 tie.
At first, it looked like the Northstars would take control in the third quarter when Mike Barnes and Robbie Ashlaw nailed goals to put the team in front, 5-3. Again, though, F-M answered and tied it, 5-5, by the end of the period.
And the news got worse when, amid a scramble for the ball on the near sideline, Ianzito screamed out in pain and fell to the turf. He had injured his right knee, and no one quite knew how serious it was -- but the senior captain would miss the rest of the game.
Determined to give Ianzito the win, CNS battled through a tense stalemate for most of the fourth quarter before James Haney scored with 3:27 left in regulation -- but the Northstars' lead lasted barely a minute, as F-M's Blair Hanson tied it.
Working the clock after it won the face-off, the Northstars waited for the right opportunity. Finally, with 30.1 seconds left, Barnes, from the point, fired a shot home and CNS led 7-6. All it needed was to win the ensuing face-off and win.