Still in search of a first-ever championship, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team rolled through two preliminary contests in the opening week of the 2010 season.
The Northstars went 12-6 a season ago, but got wiped out by Fayetteville-Manlius 15-2 in a one-sided Section III Class A quarterfinal. The memory of that defeat has CNS motivated to chase a different, and more pleasant, fate this spring.
In the opener last Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium (which will again host the sectional finals June 1 and 3), the Northstars had a double-digit lead on South Jefferson by halftime and earned a comfortable 15-5 win over the Spartans.
Constantly on the attack in the first quarter, CNS raced to a 7-0 lead. Though the pace cooled, the margin grew to 10-0 by halftime, allowing the Northstars to use all kinds of players in the second half to see what they could contribute.
Nick Russo, with three goals, led a well-balanced offense. Dave Banks (two goals, two assists) and Mike Debottis (one goal, three assists) both had four points as Sean McCaffery, Pat Tierney and Joe Becker also had two-goal outings.
Taylor Michael and Scott Slater each finished with one goal and one assist. Rob Spenard also converted, with Jacob Kurtz getting an assist.
Still at home Saturday to face Fulton, the Northstars were shaky for a while, but a big surge after halftime settled matters as it beat the Red Raiders 13-7.
When CNS took an early 4-1 lead, all looked to be normal. But a series of mistakes in the second quarter slowed things down, and Fulton closed within 5-3, causing some small concern.
But a few subtle adjustments, and some strong words from head coach Bill Aldrich and his staff, had the desired effect as, in the third period, the Northstars put up six unanswered goals, stretching the margin to 11-3.
Scott Slater, in particular, caused problems for the Red Raiders' defense, finishing with five goals and two assists. McCaffery had two goals and three assists, while Debottis and Becker also had two-goal outings. Dave Banks and Anthony Fiorini earned single tallies as Steve Broadhead earned an assist.
CNS stays home this week for its first CNY Counties League games of the season, meeting Auburn on Tuesday and Henninger Thursday night.