For the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team, a bit of balance was required to fight through last Friday's battle with archrival Liverpool at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium.
Handling both the challenge of the Warriors and the unusual late-April heat, the Northstars prevailed 13-11, improving to 7-1 on the season.
Just the fact that CNS was dealing with temperatures near 90 degrees offered a bright contrast to the winter-like conditions it had dealt with so far in 2009.
Battered by a tough early schedule, Liverpool would make it difficult on the Northstars by spreading its attack around in the first half, as five different players scored, Marybeth Madia and Jennifer VanderMeulen (two goals each) leading the way.
Meanwhile, CNS had most of the offensive chances, but were far less balanced. Only Tori Praino (four goals) and Ashley Waldron (three goals) scored, and Liverpool goalie Mikey Meagher made several point-blank stops.
Still, Rachel Geruso's goal just before halftime put the Northstars ahead 8-7, and it would not trail again as, in the course of the second half, it shut down everyone except Kathleen Conese, who had all four of Liverpool's second-half goals. Rachel Bowles and Emily Barron led the back line as Alex Gale got most of her nine saves after the break.
Though the Warriors pulled within one twice down the stretch, CNS would hang on behind Alyssa Cristaldi, who had all three of her goals in the second half, including a clincher with 2:37 to play. Sarah Allen and Ashley Caporizzo also landed goals.
The Northstars hosted Corcoran last Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium and put together a 20-9 victory over the Cougars.
CNS did not find it difficult to work its way through Corcoran's defense, steadily gaining an 11-4 lead by halftime and continuing to prosper in the late stages.