Bright and early on a Saturday morning, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team took to the field to meet Fayetteville-Manlius in the Section III Class A quarterfinals.
Whether it played remains a matter of open debate.
Making every mistake possible, and running into an opponent bent on payback, the no. 6 seed Northstars' season ended in a 15-2 loss to the no. 3 seed Hornets.
It was hard to believe that, just 18 days earlier on that same field, CNS shocked F-M 9-8 in overtime, which ended an 11-game win streak the Hornets had built.
Since then, F-M had also lost narrow, one-goal decisions to West Genesee and Corcoran, and it came into the playoffs in a furious mood -- something CNS could not understand until the game got underway.
F-M quickly bolted to a 2-0 lead, but didn't do its big damage until the second period, when it seemed to score at will and built the margin to 8-0. CNS didn't even get on the board until the third quarter, when it trailed 10-0 and the game was well out of reach.
Mike DeBottis and Cody Powers had the Northstars' goals. F-M saw Justin DePalma and Matt Taylor both finish with five assists as Mike O'Neil produced three goals.
The Northstars' season concluded with a record of 11-7 as several stars, including DeBottis, McCaffery and Zach MacNabb, will come back for 2010.