Excitement and intrigue surrounded the Fayetteville-Manlius soccer teams as it fended off various challenges in various manners.
In the case of the boys Hornets, it nearly suffered its first outright loss of the season last Monday night at West Genesee - but a late comeback, fueled by Halie Marr, saved the visitors as it beat the Wildcats 2-1.
WG, vastly improved from years past, withstood the full F-M barrage in a 0-0 first half, goalie Dylan Condon sticking out as he finished with 16 saves on the night. Then the Wildcats used Jake Sutherland's goal early in the second half to move in front 1-0, putting the Hornets in trouble.
Just in time, though, Marr would save the night, as he beat Condon for the tying goal with 2:57 left in regulation, then returned early in sudden-victory overtime to convert again and give F-M the victory. Kris Alestalo got credit for the winning assist.
Feeding off this momentum, the Hornets came back home to Swan Pond Wednesday night by smashing Auburn 7-0, and it didn't waste any time going to work.
Marr scored just 1:41 into the game, then assisted on Joe Mahr's goal less than three minutes later. Alestalo converted in the 15th minute to make it 3-0, and that number stood until halftime.
Brian Ward, like Mahr and Alestalo a fourth-year varsity player, joined in by scoring in the 51st minute, followed by Brendan Murray earning back-to-back goals. And sophomore John Shomar added a tally in the final two minutes.
Back on Monday at Swan Pond, F-M's girls soccer team was unable to produce anything in its 0-0 draw with West Genesee.
Eighty minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime left both teams still scoreless, the Hornets needing Nina
Quigley's six saves to preserve its part of the shutout.