Jun 02, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In the course of going 16-2 in the 2010 season, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse conquered every opponent it faced — except one. And that one elusive foe denied the Hornets a chance to end its 17-year wait for a Section III Class A title.
Even with a top seed, even with 20 seniors on its roster and even with momentum from a late-season win at West Genesee, F-M could not figure out Corcoran the second time around. And it led to a 13-10 defeat to the Cougars in last Tuesday night’s Class A semifinal at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
Everyone on the Hornets’ side figured this would be different from what took place on May 14. Back then, unbeaten F-M led at halftime and took more shots than Corcoran, but goalie Edmund Cathers made 16 saves and produced a second-half shutout, leading to an 8-6 upset.
Since that loss, the Hornets had appeared to regain its season-long form, starting the playoffs with a 17-5 romp over Rome Free Academy in the Class A quarterfinals on May 28.
What’s more, the playoff seeding created a chance for payback against Corcoran, who drew the no. 4 seed and took out CNS 12-7 in its quarterfinal. F-M figured that, if it took better shots, it would move into yet another sectional final against West Genesee, who beat Liverpool 10-5 in the first Class A semifinal before the Hornets and Cougars took the field.
All through the early stages, F-M and Corcoran traded goals, so it was 3-3 early in the second period. Then, led by James Cathers, the Cougars tore the Hornets’ highly regarded defense open with five more goals before the break.
Down 8-6 at the break (the same numbers as the final score of the first game), F-M’s hopes of coming back got dashed when it could not get on the board in the third quarter, as Corcoran’s lead grew to 11-6.
James Cathers had much to do with this. Not only did he help his team win 20 of 26 face-offs, which kept the ball away from F-M’s sticks, Corcoran’s all-time leading scorer had a part in all but three of Corcoran’s scoring plays, piling up six goals and adding four assists.
No one on the Hornets came close to that type of production, despite Mike O’Neil and Ari Waffle getting three goals apiece. Mike Kutzer had two goals and one assist, with Brendan Englert and Tim Beach also converting. Edmund Cathers made 12 saves, twice as many stops as Stefan Basile.
Now F-M will see key players like O’Neil, Kutzer, Beach, Englert, Matt Klepper, Todd Webster, Bennett Sluis, Andrew Murphy, Glen Trachtenberg and Jeremy Meguira depart. Waffle and Basile lead the returning cast that, in 2011, will try yet again to reach the summit.