In a strong and efficient manner, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team passed its first examination of the 2009 season.
The Northstars hosted Horseheads (Section IV) last Friday night at Bragman Stadium and used steady production to easily earn a 15-5 victory.
CNS is coming off a 2008 campaign where it went 15-3 in the regular season, only to fall in the Section III Class A quarterfinals to Baldwinsville.
And while there wasn't a big roster turnover, star forwards Stephen Ianzito and James Haney did graduate, meaning some new offensive threats would have to emerge.
Against Horseheads, it didn't take too long, as it the Northstars battled to a 9-2 first-half edge and kept it going until the margin was double digits.
Zach MacNabb, with four goals, and Robbie Ashlaw, with three goals and two assists, set the pace. Mike DeBottis also found the net three times, with Sean McCaffery and John Stimson each scoring twice. Cody Powers had a single goal, while Nic Heldt got two assists. Working in the net, Anthony Puma recorded 11 saves.
Also at home on Monday night, CNS took on Fulton and made it two wins in a row, beating the Red Raiders 13-6.
Here, the margin got built in the first half as the Northstars used a steady attack to gain a 9-3 edge. Though it cooled off later, CNS didn't let Fulton get closer.
Ashlaw, with four assists to go with his pair of goals, led a balanced attack where Stimson got three goals, with MacNabb and McCaffery each finding the net twice. Heldt had a goal and two assists as DeBottis and Powers each got one goal and one assist. Nick Russo also scored.
CNS gets a big early test on Saturday, going to Baldwinsville in a rematch of that '08 playoff showdown.