Baldwinsville True, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls lacrosse team endured a 1-5 start, but it wasn’t like the Hornets were playing weak opponents.
West Genesee, Liverpool, Skaneateles and Brighton had all tripped up F-M in the season's opening stages, making the Hornets’ schedule perhaps the toughest in the state through mid-April.
At some point, F-M hoped that seasoning would lead to success. The moment arrived Monday night, when the Hornets went to Baldwinsville and knocked off the Bees 10-9.
B’ville, considered to be next in line behind West Genesee among the local Class A sides, were 3-1, but had not played a local opponent since April 4, having taken a trip to the San Diego area (and won twice) during the April school break.
Maybe that inaction led to some early struggles, which allowed F-M to hang close throughout the first half, even as it trailed 4-3 going into halftime.
By winning some draws in the second half and turning to the duo of Marri Ryu and Alex Murphy, the Hornets moved out in front.
Ryu accounted for half of F-M’s production, finishing with a season-best five goals, while Murphy added her own three-goal hat trick, plus an assist. McKenna Everding and Lindsay Trachtenberg scored, too, with Melissa James, Sam Hotchkiss, Cara Esposito and Grace Donahue earning assists.
Just as importantly, F-M’s defense, hit so hard early in the season, broke up many of B’ville’s scoring attempts and kept cool in the homestretch. Steph Rutkowski was superb in the net, too, recording 15 saves.
So begins a week where the Hornets will play four times in six days, capped Saturday by a home showdown with defending state Class C champion CBA.