Again, all the forces appeared to be lining up for the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team to earn its first Section III Class A championship since 1993.
A sweep through May had included an emotional overtime win over West Genesee on May 17. The Hornets' first playoff game was an 18-1 laugher over Rome Free Academy. And F-M was convinced that it would get payback against the only team that beat them this season, Liverpool, in the semifinal round.
But the Hornets never got close to that last part of the plan. Liverpool, the no. 2 seed, managed to top its own effort from that wind-swept April 21 affair, ripping F-M 14-5 in a game played over two days due to weather issues.
That earlier contest had seen temperatures in the 30s and winds that blew above 30 miles per hour, and had also seen the Hornets squander a 4-2 lead in the fourth quarter, frustrated by the Warriors' zone defense that forced everything outside.
What F-M saw, in the playoff rematch, was a more polished Liverpool outfit that wasn't interested in slowing the game down. Outplayed from the start, the Hornets were down 3-1 when, in the second quarter, the Warriors shut them out and expanded the margin to 7-1.
About the only thing that could save the Hornets was outside intervention, and it came in the form of two weather delays, caused by lightning, that force the game to be stopped near the end of the third quarter with F-M behind 11-3.
They resumed Friday morning, at Liverpool, where in less than an hour the Warriors finished things off, led mostly by the work of Joe Corapi (four goals, two assists) and Matt Savlov, who had four goals and two assists.
Ari Waffle and David Ondrich led the Hornets with two goals apiece. Jim Krizman had the other tally, with Ryan Simmons and Kevin Lux adding assists.
So ended F-M's 16-2 campaign, where it beat everyone except Liverpool. The departure of Waffle, Moro, Anklin, Cody Barber and goalie Stefan Basile, but a large returning cast is back for 2012 - and will play on the new F-M artificial turf field.
This means far more practice time in March and April in a real sports facility, not the parking lots to which F-M was confined for so long. Perhaps that extra work will aid the Hornets in its continuing quest to return to championship glory.