Baldwinsville Now it's safe for the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team to utter the phrase it's been waiting to say for nearly 11 months - bring on Liverpool.
A wet, cold and wind-swept 11-5 victory over Baldwinsville Friday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium cleared the last hurdle for the Hornets prior to its reunion Tuesday night with the reigning Section III Class A champion Warriors.
It was Liverpool that ended F-M's season each of the last two years in lopsided Section III Class A semifinals. And this game at LHS Stadium will be the only time the Hornets (7-0) and Warriors (6-2) meet in the regular season.
Carrying that unbeaten mark and the no. 7 state Class A ranking, F-M was facing the same B'ville side it had beaten at home 10-3 back on April 4, when the sun was out and the sky was blue.
That certainly wasn't the case for the rematch. A warm late afternoon drastically changed just before face-off, the temperature dipping at least 25 degrees as the wind picked up and, by the second quarter, the rain started falling.
Perhaps sensing that conditions on the Bees' much-maligned grass field would get worse as the night progressed, F-M, not in any way looking past B'ville toward Liverpool, made its decisive move early - in fact, it would get all the goals it would need in the first quarter.
In the span of less than a minute early in the period, Clay Arnold, Kevin Lux and Ryan DaRin all scored to push F-M to a 3-0 lead. Zach Bulak put the Bees on the board, but Arnold quickly answered with a second goal.
What really created a cushion was another Hornet spurt in the last minute of the first quarter. Klay and Kroy Arnoldwould score 22 seconds apart, and suddenly B'ville was staring at a 6-1 deficit.