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.