Apr 17, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
To put it lightly, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team was a bit displeased with the events of April 11 on the turf at Central Square.
What was supposed to be the Hornets’ bold challenge to reigning Class A monarch West Genesee turned instead into a 10-2 defeat full of enough mistakes, miscues and mental lapses to last a month.
So F-M stewed on that defeat for a couple of days, then went back to work during spring break, intent on regaining its confidence.
Cicero-North Syracuse just happened to be in the way last Tuesday afternoon. Completely turning things around, F-M crushed the Northstars 13-2 on the turf at Bragman Stadium, leaving little doubt as to what it could do when things were working.
Still, it took a while for the onslaught. F-M pushed to a 3-0 first-quarter lead, then cooled down for a bit as both teams displayed solid defense the rest of the half.
Ahead 4-1 at the break, something must have clicked, for the Hornets blasted CNS for eight goals in that crucial third period, taking away all the suspense.
Mike Poppleton, with five goals, made the Northstars’ defense pay for its attention on Matt Taylor, who still had a goal and three assists.
Ari Waffle stepped up for a three-goal hat trick, while Justin DePalma earned two goals and two assists. Mike O’Neil and Jim Dittmer managed to score, too, as the entire Hornets’ defense, led by Alex Cameron-Carter, broke down anything CNS tried to establish.
Back home two days later, F-M faced Baldwinsville, who had one of the area’s best offensive weapons in junior attacker Billy Ward. In two games this season, Ward had put up 12 goals and 16 assists.
For the most part, F-M’s defense did a solid job frustrating Ward, and the offense took charge in the second half to produce a 14-7 victory over the Bees.
Through an active first quarter, Ward managed just one assist, but both teams still had success converting as they played to a 4-4 tie. From there, though, the Hornets settled down on the defensive end, blanking the Bees in the second period and using Taylor’s goal midway through the period to go up 5-4, a lead that held until the break.
Ward would get a pair of goals early in the third quarter. But after his bounce shot found the net to cut the margin to 7-6, B’ville, as a whole, managed just one goal in the game’s last 18-plus minutes, wearing down in the face of the Hornets’ pressure.
Meanwhile, Taylor, relatively quiet in the early going, sparked the getaway, as he scored twice and earned an assist in a span of three minutes to build the margin to 11-6. All told, he had four goals and four assists, pulling along an attack where Dittmer, Waffle, Mike Poppleton and Ron Caputo each scored twice. Tim Beach and Will Reznikov managed single goals.