With its early three-game win streak, the Chittenango girls lacrosse team asserted that it wanted to be part of the OHSL Freedom division race.
And the Bears nearly extended the win streak to four last Monday night against Chittenango, only to fall in overtime to the Purple Tigers 9-8.
All game long, it proved tight, as Chittenango inched in front 5-4 by halftime, but were unable to build any kind of margin. Cortland fought back and tied it, 8-8, as the two sides headed for a pair of three-minute OT periods.
Neither side scored in the first OT, but with 40 seconds left in the second extra period, the Purple Tigers' Tricia Rosetti flung a shot past Bears goalie Elizabeth Dennee. It proved to be the game-winner.
In defeat, Jenna Barber again carried a large part of Chittenango's offensive load, finishing with four goals and two assists. Shannen Sweeney and Kaitlin Antelmi each had one goal and one assist as Brianna Schiedo and Laura Lang also converted.
Back-to-back matches followed, starting Thursday at Mexico where the Bears reversed things and beat the Tigers by the same 9-8 by which it lost to Cortland.
Here, a comeback was required as Chittenango, playing without Jenna Barber, trailed 5-4 at halftime and were in danger all the way to the end.
But the Bears held on, partially because Ali Barber stepped up and registered three goals to match Antelmi's total. Lang, Carlie Roman and Sierra Shafer also scored, with Dennee and Alyssa Cope combining for 10 saves.
Then the Bears returned home Friday to roar past Whitesboro 15-3, blanking the Warriors in the second half after grinding its way to a 7-3 edge by the break.
Returning in fine form, Jenna Barber scored five times and added two assists, while Shafer also stepped up with five goals of her own. Lang and Katie Putnam both had two goals as Ami Peotsa also converted. Forman and Sweeney added assists.