No doubt, defeats in its last two regular-season games had left the Marcellus girls lacrosse team in a more precarious position, even as it took a no. 2 seed into the Section III Class C playoffs.
Still, the Mustangs harbored championship dreams - at least until Thursday night's semifinal at West Genesee, where a familiar opponent, no. 3 seed Skaneateles, eliminated the Mustangs 12-9.
The two rivals split their regular-season meetings, each side winning by a single goal on the road, which gave little indicator as to how their third and most important encounter would transpire.
Throughout the first half, it proved close again, both sides finding a fair amount of success on the offensive side. By the time they reached the break, though, Skaneateles had inched into a 7-6 lead.
During the second half, the game slowed down, and the Mustangs were denied the one big scoring burst it would need to pull it out, watching as three different Lakers - Carly Davis, Shelby McNeilly and Emma Ford - produce three goals and one assist.
Nora Barry, in what turned out to be her last high school game before heading to Florida, had her own three-goal, one assist-effort, with Catherine Nolan also finding the net three times. Ellen Brooks, Molly McGuane and Grace Nolan had one goal apiece. Renee Poullott finished with 12 saves.