Kory McMahon will be the first person to admit that the Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer team he coaches is a bit erratic in its behavior.
One day, the Hornets are disinterested and flat, losing in Oswego to an opponent sporting a 1-5-1 record. The next, F-M is back home, motivated and confident, sending unbeaten Baldwinsville to its first defeat of the season.
This complete turnaround had its full manifestation last Tuesday night at Swan Pond, where the Hornets, led by a revived Mary Hartzheim, stunned the Bees 2-1.
Perhaps looking ahead to B'ville's challenge, the Hornets, on Sept. 18, had taken that 3-1 loss at Oswego, giving up a trio of goals in the first 15 minutes and spending the rest of the game in a futile catch-up bid.
Burned by that bad showing, F-M now came home to deal with B'ville. Not only were the Bees 8-0, it had not even allowed a goal in any of those games, a fierce defensive effort that had made them the early-line Class AA championship favorites.
Switching up its defense, the Hornets moved midfielder Bri Dolan to the back line. As sweeper, Dolan eyed the field, flanking defenders like Julia Reagan, Mary Beth Anagnost and Ali Pliszka as they shut down whatever B'ville tried to establish in the first half.
Just getting to halftime 0-0 appeared to be enough of a triumph. To that point, the Hornets had a fair share of possessions in Bees territory, but few good shots.
That all changed 1:08 into the second half. Jordan Monteleone made a strong run down the left, then fired a perfect cross to the center where, in a crowd, Hartzheim stuck out her foot and powered a shot past Bees goalie Casey Chiesa. It was the first goal B'ville had allowed all season.