Perhaps a single, inspiring effort is not enough to transform a good season into a great one -- but for the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team, it could yet happen.
Given little chance to win at Fayetteville-Manlius Tuesday night, the Northstars dictated the pace, led most of the night -- then beat the Hornets in overtime 9-8 on Mike DeBottis' goal a minute into the extra period.
F-M came into the game at 13-1, riding an 11-game win streak and looking forward to key showdowns with West Genesee and Corcoran in the week ahead.
In the process, though, the Hornets looked past CNS -- and that proved to be a big mistake.
Down 2-1 after one period, the Northstars blanked F-M in the second quarter to go out in front, 3-2, and would keep it close the rest of the way.
On the defensive end, Eddie Kashmer, Mike Freytag, Billy Temple and the rest of the back line shut down every Hornet player except Matt Taylor, who had five of his team's seven goals. When shots did get through, Anthony Puma scooped them up, as he earned 14 saves, twice the number of F-M's Stefan Basile.
CNS led, 6-5, going to the fourth quarter, and did not panic even when F-M rallied to force the overtime. Instead, the Northstars won the face-off, then set it up for DeBottis, whose shot eluded Basile to win it.
Pat Tierney, a quiet figure most of the season, emerged on this night with two goals and three assists as DeBottis also found the net twice. Robbie Ashlaw, Zach MacNabb, John Stimson and Cody Powers also converted, with David Jennings and Tyler Craig earning assists.
Now the trick for the Northstars was to follow this up, and not have a letdown Friday night against Baldwinsville.