A pair of early-season wins over Class B opponents may have lured the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team into complacency.
If so, that's gone for good in the wake of the Northstars' 11-6 defeat to Auburn last Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium, a game that wasn't even as close as it turned out to be.
All through the first half, CNS could not win a face-off, and watched as the Maroons, who had lost to Skaneateles 19-10 a week earlier, controlled the ball most of the time and put in a steady stream of goals.
By halftime, it was 9-0, and the Northstars didn't even get on the board until the third quarter. Its only surge came in the fourth quarter, when it was far too late.
Mike Debottis had three goals and Sean McCaffery scored twice in that late push, with Nick Russo also converting. Auburn countered with Connor Entenmann pouring in four goals and three assists, with Chris Porten adding three goals.
The Northstars would turn it around on Thursday night, riding a quick start against Henninger and superb efforts from Debottis and McCaffery to a 13-6 victory over the Black Knights.
CNS had modest 2-0 edge when, in the second quarter, it scored five times. Not only that, but its defense nearly got a shutout in the half, leading to a 7-1 margin that the Northstars would nurse the rest of the way.
Debottis didn't slow down until he had picked up five goals and four assists, while McCaffery ended with three goals and four assists. Russo scored twice as Joe Becker and Scott Slater each had one goal and one assist. Anthony Fiorini also converted. In goal, Anthony Mercurio and Brian Pitonzo combined for nine saves.
On Saturday, CNS held off Watertown IHC 10-6, a game that was close in the first half as the Northstars only led 6-5. But with improved defense, the Northstars shut out the Cavaliers in the third quarter and started to pull away.
Russo and Becker both produced three-goal hat tricks, with Debottis scoring twice. McCaffery had a goal and two assists as Slater again earned one goal and one assist. Mercurio had a strong game in the net, recording 14 saves.
CNS would seek its third straight win Tuesday, at Nottingham, and come back home Friday night to face Central Square.