Even with a modest 10-7 overall record going into the Section III Class A Playoffs, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team also had extra notoriety for the way it had taken the nation's top two ranked teams (at least according to www.laxpower.com) right to the wire on its home turf of Bragman Stadium.
First came the overtime loss to Baldwinsville back on April 4. Then, in the regular-season finale on May 22, CNS put a big scare into West Genesee, the reigning two-time state Class A champions, before falling to the Wildcats 15-13.
Perhaps it caught WG at a great time, as the Wildcats had just expended a big effort in beating B'ville 10-7 in a much-hyped showdown in Camillus three nights earlier.
Whatever the reason, though, CNS stayed within sight, 10-6, by halftime, and continued to excel in the second half, putting in more goals against the Wildcats' defense than any other team had this season.
Tori Praino and Sarah Allen both finished with four goals, aided by Ashley Waldron's four assists. Waldron and Ashley Caporizzo each found the net twice, with Emily Bryerton also scoring and Alyssa Cristaldi adding an assist.
WG held on, though, thanks to Morgan Corso getting six goals and Maria DiFato adding four goals and an assist. In defeat, Alex Gale made 11 saves.
As this was going on, the CNS boys team had its regular-season finale at West Genesee, falling to the Wildcats 13-5 to end a three-game win streak.
Perhaps owing to Senior Night festivities, WG did not start well, as CNS held them to a single goal in the first quarter.
The only problem was that the Northstars didn't get on the board until the second quarter, by which point the Wildcats' offense had started to click.
Trailing 5-2 at the break, CNS did stay within sight in the third quarter, only to get shut out in the final period as WG put up five unanswered goals.
Mike DeBottis scored twice, with Sean McCaffery, John Stimson and Nic Heldt getting the other goals. Anthony Puma made 14 saves. WG proved quite balanced, as Jim Marks and Matt McCabe each had three goals, with Ike Hopper (two goals, three assists) and John Glesener (two goals, two assists) close behind.