For one half, the East Syracuse-Minoa girls lacrosse team looked to be gaining control of season-opening neighborhood clash with Jamesville-DeWitt.
But that good feeling did not last long. Right after the break, the Red Rams took over, and didn't slow down until it had put together a 12-9 victory over the Spartans.
A season ago, ESM was up in the Class B ranks, falling in the sectional final to Watertown. Meanwhile, J-D was relegated to Class C and, despite a strong regular season, lost 11-8 to Cazenovia in the quarterfinal round.
In the first of two regular-season encounters that will come in the span of 12 days, the Spartans flourished in the warm weather and on home turf. Led by Marlee Vlassis, who finished with three goals, a balanced ESM attack kept on working until it went to halftime nursing a 7-3 lead.
Everything changed after the break, though. J-D started dominating the draws, and its constant attacks wore down ESM's defenses and led to a string of goals. All told, the Rams outscored the Spartans 9-2 in those last 25 minutes.
Ashriel West, with four goals, and Tori Nies, with two goals and two assists, led the charge. Liz Beville found the net twice as Ally Loewy, Lauren Swan, Taylor Bierwagen and Sarah Wood earned single goals. Morgan Freeman added an assist.
On ESM's side, Nikki Devona, with two goals, offered the main help to Vlassis as Allyson Rossi, Alyssa Anderalli, Liz Stratton and Alex McEachron had one goal apiece. In the net, Katie Cook recorded 16 saves.
As this went on, the ESM boys lacrosse team, 11-8 a season ago (it lost in the Class B semifinals to eventual champion J-D), opened on a solid note, beating Whitesboro 9-4.
From beginning to end, the Spartans' defense made life miserable for the Warriors, only allowing two goals in the first half and nothing in the third quarter.
Moving to a 7-2 lead through three periods, ESM featured Garrett Smith and Mike Cummings, both of which earned three goals. Smith added two assists as Quadear Mike piled up four assists. Jeff Koch, Bobby Campese and Connor
Garris earned single tallies as Sean Dooling joined Koch and Cummings with single assists. Chris Russo had 12 saves.