Even as the temperatures warmed up, the Baldwinsville boys lacrosse team dealt with the first cold reality of its season in the form of back-to-back defeats.
The Bees were 2-0, but not seriously tested so far in 2009, when it paid a Thursday-afternoon visit to Fayetteville-Manlius. Here, a poor second half proved costly in a 14-7 loss to the Hornets.
Knowing that F-M's defense would try and bottle up Billy Ward, the rest of the Bees stepped up early, as Nick Gaworecki scored twice in the first quarter and B'ville took leads of 1-0 and 3-2 to make the Hornets take notice.
F-M rallied to tie it, 4-4, then blanked the Bees in the second quarter as a series of turnovers hit both sides. Only Matt Taylor's goal allowed the Hornets to go to the break with a 5-4 lead.
Ward, with just one assist in the first half, scored twice early in the third period. But after the second of those goals, F-M took control with four unanswered goals and would let the Bees score just once the rest of the way.
Both Gaworecki and Kyle Styer joined Ward with two-goal outings, with Tim Hayden also converting. Taylor, an F-M senior going to Cornell University next year, burned the Bees' defense often, finishing with four goals and four assists. In defeat, goalie Pat Briggs recorded 15 saves.
So began a stretch where, in a span of 12 days, the Bees would play seven times, none as tough as Saturday's visit to Camillus to meet defending state Class A champion West Genesee.
Here, the result would prove to be similar to the F-M game, as B'ville stayed within range for a half, then fall back in a 13-6 loss to the Wildcats.
Shut out in the first quarter, B'ville's defense had to work hard to keep the game close, and a pair of scoring plays in the second period allowed the Bees to be within one, 4-3, as they went to halftime.