Manlius West Genesse's latest conquest of Fayetteville-Manlius in boys lacrosse, a 9-7 decision Tuesday night on the Hornets' new artificial turf field, is a prime example of how a single, well-timed goal can turn a troubling situation into a triumphant one.
Outplayed for the entire first half and trailing 4-1 as the second quarter wound down, the Wildcats were spiraling toward a defeat that may have altered the entire picture among top Class A title contenders.
Then Matt Schattner went to work.
With the clock ticking down, Schattner took possession of the ball, wove his way through F-M's defenders and, with three seconds left, fired a bounce shot that eluded Hornets goalie Dan Wells and found the net.
"I called for the ball," said Schattner. "I had to do something to get us going."
He did that, and then some. Though it still trailed 4-2 going into the break, the Wildcats carried all of its newfound energy into a third quarter that it thoroughly dominated, racing to a 6-4 lead and never getting caught.
"We knew we could come back, because we've done it before," said Tim Barber, who led the Wildcats with two goals and three assists. "We kept our calm and kept going."
F-M seized control just 15 seconds into the game when Ryan Simmons, off the opening face-off, raced in and beat Scott Sidnam, the only goal for either team in the first quarter.
Simmons and Kevin Lux added goals early in the second period, and it took nearly 19 minutes of game time before Barber put WG on the board. But Simmons answered 57 seconds later with his third goal.
And that's where it stood when Schattner hit his goal just before halftime. Fueled by that, the Wildcats pulled even, 4-4, early in the third period as, on two straight plays, Barber fed Jake Darrow for goals.