This time around, the Marcellus girls lacrosse team was not going to give anything away to their main rivals from Skaneateles.
Just like their first meeting of 2011, the state Class C no. 4-ranked Mustangs led late in regulation Tuesday night against the no. 6-ranked Lakers. Unlike that time, though, Marcellus would keep that advantage, hanging on for a valuable 10-9 victory.
Without a doubt, Marcellus remembered that 9-8 defeat from March 31, which hurt even more because it led most of the game and saw things turn around on a series of late yellow cards that forced the Mustangs to go one player down as Skaneateles rallied to win in the closing seconds.
The chance for payback came on the Lakers' Senior Night, and it proved just as close. Neither team could make any sustained run in the first half as the game was tied four times and the lead changed hands three other times.
They were even again, 6-6, early in the second half when Marcellus used a pair of goals to move back in front 8-6. As this went on, goalie Renee Poullott made five consecutive stops, nearly half her eventual total of 11 saves, as defenders Alex DiStefano, Alanna Todd, Faith Seeley and Lexi Bird offered more protection.
Still, the Mustangs saw a 9-7 lead vanish when the Lakers hit on back-to-back free-position shots late in regulation, an eerie repeat of the first meeting.
Nora Barry responded, breaking the 9-9 tie by notching her fifth goal with 5:58 to play. From there, the Mustangs won the ensuing draw and ate up the remaining time through deft possession, never letting Skaneteles get another shot.
Aside from Barry, Catherine and Grace Nolan offered the main scoring threats, each finishing with two goals and one assist. Molly McGuane also scored, with Emily Hennigan adding an assist. Carly Davis (three goals, one assist) and Emma Ford (two goals, one assist) led the Laker attack.
Every game among the main Class C contenders has been a tight one, and Marcellus will host state no. 3-ranked CBA (whom it beat 12-11 in mid-April) next Wednesday night in its last home game of the regular season.