In their own manners, the Fayetteville-Manlius and Jamesville-DeWitt boys lacrosse teams delivered impressive performances as the final week of the 2011 regular season looms.
The Hornets further established its Section III Class A contender credentials by going to Corcoran Tuesday night and pulling away late to beat the Cougars 11-4. Meanwhile, the state Class B no. 1-ranked Red Rams celebrated its Senior Night at home with some exciting plays - one in particular from goalie Dan DiStefano - as it hammered Cortland 17-5 for its 36th win in a row, the state's longest active win streak.
Already with an 11-1 mark, F-M knew that it had to fare well against an opponent like Corcoran (10-2) if it wanted to offer a real challenge to nine-time defending Class A champion West Genesee, whom the Hornets face in next Tuesday's regular-season finale.
That meant playing defense, which has turned into F-M's trademark this spring. Since allowing eight goals to Cortland in its season opener, the Hornets have held every opponent to six goals or less. Even its lone defeat was a 5-4 decision to Liverpool on April 19 in cold, windy conditions.
Here, Corcoran, with its high-powered offense, provided a sufficient challenge, and the Hornets met it, especially in the late going.
After a 3-3 deadlock in the first half, the Hornets kept the Cougars off the board until the fourth quarter, right when F-M was in the midst of its decisive scoring run. Matt Moro, Scott Barger, Cody Barber and Connor Chen excelled on the back line as Stefan Basile stopped 12 of the 16 shots he faced.
Such an effort allowed the Hornets to stay patient on the offensive end until it scored six goals in the final period. Ryan Simmons led the push, taking full advantage of the Cougars' defensive attention to Ari Waffle and Kevin Lux by posting five goals, more than the entire Corcoran squad.