As the holder of more Section III titles than any other boys soccer program, Fayetteville-Manlius has an awful lot of history to back up.
And the Hornets' recent history displays close calls since its last Class AA title in 2005 - namely, two defeats in the finals, then a 1-0 semifinal loss to Cicero-North Syracuse in 2008.
With most of its lineup back (just five seniors graduated), F-M began again by hosting its annual two-day tournament at Swan Pond, winning on both occasions.
It began Friday afternoon, with the Hornets handling Watertown in a 4-0 shutout where it converted three times in the first half to seize early control.
Brian Ward earned two goals, with Halie Marr contributing a pair of assists. Mike Kutzer and Jim Forbes each had one goal, as Tyler Forbes and Anthony Restate earned one assist apiece. F-M's defense held the Cyclones to just two shots.
in Saturday's action, F-M took on Rome Free Academy - and though it proved closer, the Hornets still beat the Black Knights 3-1.
Coming off last year's 15-4-1 mark, RFA was far from an easy test, especially with a proven goalie like Dominic DiMaggio in the net.
In fact, the Hornets and Black Knights were tied, 1-1, at the half. But F-M kept attacking and twice solved DiMaggio (who finished with 15 saves) in the second half.
Restate had one goal and one assist, with Ward and Kutzer also getting goals. Joe Nowicki put RFA on the board in the first half.
Also at Swan Pond, CNS, the team that knocked out F-M in last year's semifinals, won twice, routing RFA 5-0 and Watertown 7-1 as Gino Corasaniti and Logan Roberts each had three goals in the two wins.