Apr 02, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In terms of opening statements, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team could not have made a louder one to kick off its 50th season of varsity play.
Battling through what is sure to be the season’s most difficult playing conditions, the Hornets went to Camillus Tuesday afternoon and overcame a sluggish start to record a 6-4 victory over long-time nemesis West Genesee.
Each of the last two years, F-M had strong regular-season efforts, only to get knocked out in the Section III Class A semifinals, both times in one-sided defeats to Liverpool.
Even with those recent struggles against Liverpool, the Hornets’ larger, and longer-lasting rivalry, has always been with West Genesee, winners of 17 of the last 18 sectional finals, often at F-M’s expense.
In 2013, F-M would play the Wildcats twice, at the beginning of the regular season and once more on May 14, right before the playoffs, so it would get a good idea of where it stood, and what still needed to be worked on.
WG had already played once, a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over Penfield on March 30. But that came at a steep price as starting defender Garrett Waldron tore a meniscus, which will cause him to miss most of the regular season.
What added to the challenge, for both sides, was snow, wind and temperatures in the 20s that had caused most of the day’s other games, boys and girls alike, to be postponed.
They played on here, though, and WG took advantage of the Hornets’ early jitters, getting goals from Ryan St. Croix, Ted Glesener and Mark Niechcial to take a 3-0 first-quarter lead.
But from that point forward, F-M’s defense would shut the Wildcats down. Anchored by Josh Pulver, Jake Pulver and Ben Jeffery, plus new starting goalie Brian Bedell, the Hornets blanked WG through the entire second quarter, giving it time to climb back into it.
Just as important was the way that midfielder Dan Cahill dominated in the face-off circle. He won all but one of the draws in the first half, and that started to produce results when Jack Wilson and Kevin Lux scored goals less than 90 seconds apart. Clay Arnold’s goal late in the half tied it, 3-3, where they stood at the break.
In the third quarter, Cahill continued to claim the face-offs, no matter which WG player opposed him. In a 55-second span, Clay Arnold took a pass from Kroy Arnold and scored the go-ahead goal, followed by Cahill finding the net that extended F-M’s lead to 5-3.
Though St. Croix cut the lead to 5-4, Cahill, continuing his big day, fed Luke Krizman for an insurance goal 1:04 into the fourth quarter, and from there the Hornets turned back all of the Wildcats’ attempts to get closer again. Bedell finished with nine saves.
Two days later, F-M had its home opener, against Baldwinsville. Easily avoiding a letdown, the Hornets, paced by Lux, put together a 10-3 victory over the Bees.
Lux helped F-M gain control late in the first quarter, scoring one goal and assisting on Wilson’s tally just 25 seconds later to make it 3-0. Wilson converted again late in the period, and Lux had both of F-M’s goals in the second quarter as the margin grew to 6-1 by halftime.
Taking advantage of a two-minute B’ville penalty, Lux and Clay Arnold both scored in the first minute of the third quarter to make it 8-1. And Lux added two more goals the rest of the way, giving him six for the afternoon.
Another game loomed Saturday, against Marcellus. F-M’s attack continued to warm up and, led by Clay Arnold, the Hornets put away the Mustangs 16-8.
Just like with B’ville, F-M wasted little time seizing control, sprinting to a 5-1 first-quarter lead. As the game went on, the margin kept growing, the Hornets outscoring Marcellus in each period as it got to 9-3 by halftime and 13-6 by the end of the third quarter.
Half of the tallies came from Clay Arnold, who piled up five goals and two assists, and Wilson, who recorded a three-goal hat trick. Lux picked up three assists as he, along with Krizman, Kroy Arnold, Jake Pulver, Dan Wyman, Alex Leuze, John Cote and Casey Greene, gained one goal apiece. Cahill and Ryan DaRin picked up assists.
F-M stayed home Tuesday to face Oswego and gets another important early-season test on Thursday night, when it visits Cicero-North Syracuse.