Two more solid performances left the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team with a 5-0 mark to start the season -- but tougher competition lay ahead.
The fourth straight win came last Tuesday night, when the Hornets defended its home field and dominated Oswego in a 16-5 romp.
Only in the first quarter was it tight, as the Buccaneers trailed 2-1 before, in the middle stages, F-M took over. During the second and third periods, the Hornets outscored them by a combined 12-2.
Three different players -- Ari Waffle, Matt Klepper and Mike Kutzer-- earned three-goal hat tricks, showing the Hornets' depth and balance.
Brendan Englert finished with two goals and three assists. Mike O'Neil fed them all, with five assists to go with his lone goal, as Jim Krizman, Glen Trachtenberg, Tim Beach and Taylor Gerhardt also earned goals. Jeff Shields and Jeff Bonsted also entered the assist column.
Two nights later, the Hornets had a non-league game against an improved Cortland squad and, taking nothing for granted, rolled past the Purple Tigers 16-8.
It was just 4-3 after one period, but F-M's relentless pace started to create separation in the second quarter as the margin grew to 10-5. And the Hornets' defense made sure, in the second half, that Cortland would not put together a sustained run.
Waffle, with four goals and one assist, and O'Neil, with a goal and three assists, set the pace. Klepper, Englert and Andrew Murphy each scored twice, with Beach, Trachtenberg, Chris Anklin, Ryan Simmons and Sean Wildhack also putting in goals. Kutzer put up three assists.
After playing East Syracuse-MInoa on Monday, the Hornets prepare for its biggest game so far, a Friday visit from fellow Class A contender Baldwinsville.