At this very early point in the season, the Marcellus girls lacrosse is atop the OHSL Liberty division standings - and will enjoy the view as long as possible.
Building upon its win over Jordan-Elbridge earlier in the week, the Mustangs built a big lead over visiting Cazenovia on a brisk, windy Saturday afternoon, then held off a fierce comeback attempt to beat the Lakers 14-11.
Cazenovia, who had rallied to beat Westhill on Wednesday in its league opener, dressed just 14 players, the roster shortened due to injury and assorted other absences. And for a while, the Mustangs took full advantage of the numbers.
Nora Barry dominated the early draws, giving the Mustangs multiple possessions before Cazenovia even had a shot. Leea Sinay scored twice in the first five minutes, with a Catherine Nolan goal in between, to give the hosts a quick 3-0 lead.
Cazenovia would close the margin to 4-3, but the Mustangs regained control with five unanswered goals from five different players - Barry, Sinay, Meghan Connors, Lauren Burrows and Ellen Brooks.
By halftime, the Mustangs were up 11-4, and when the margin grew to 14-6 on Sinay's fourth goal with 17:46 left, the game looked to be well in hand.
But the Mustangs would not score again, and Cazenovia would make things interesting by getting three straight goals and a two-player advantage when both Barry and Kelly Welch went to the sidelines with yellow cards late in the game.
The Lakers only got one goal with that advantage, though, and the Mustangs did an effective job running off the last five minutes of the clock with a possession game.
Marcellus will go for three in a row Tuesday, at Westhill, then is off for a week before an April 20 showdown with archrival Skaneateles.