Cicero Every Friday, like clockwork, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team goes through a stick check, and according to head coach Chris Kenneally, his teams have never been flagged for an illegal stick penalty in 40 years on the sidelines.
It seems fitting, then, that the turning point in the undefeated (5-0) Hornets’ 11-5 victory against Cicero-North Syracuse (5-2) Thursday night at Bragman Stadium was such a penalty on the Northstars.
The Hornets, who hadn’t faced a deficit since the second period of its April 2 season opener against West Genesee, found itself down 3-2 after Zach Debottis’ second goal of the game early in the second quarter.
But coming out of a time-out less than a minute later, C-NS midfielder Brandon Townsend received the non-releasable penalty, giving F-M three full minutes to play a man advantage.
And take advantage is exactly what the Hornets did.
Jack Wilson wedged his way in front of the net and scored from point blank range just 37 seconds into the penalty for a 3-3 tie. F-M won the ensuing face-off, and Wilson put in his second goal in less than a minute from left of the cage after a pass from Ryan DaRin.
“That is the key play of the game," Kenneally said. "That turned the tide for us."
Luke Krizman and Kevin Lux stretched the lead to three with two more rapid-fire goals late int he period. At the 9:05 mark, Krizman, streaking through the middle, took a pass from Clay Arnold barreling down the left side and fired a one-timer past Northstars goalie Brian Schenk.
Neither team fielded the following face-off cleanly, but the ball rolled to Lux, who scooped it and scored on a solo run just 16 seconds after Krizman’s goal to give F-M a 6-3 lead at halftime.
Lux opened the scoring on the other side of the break, making a run identical to Krizman’s and burying another Clay Arnold pass in the back of the net 4:12 into the third quarter.