Manlius True, the spotlight would fall on senior Kevin Lux after the Fayeteville-Manlius boys senior forward netted a career-high 10 goals in his team's 13-4 victory over Liverpool on Tuesday night. But the game was also a reflection of everything the undefeated, state Class A no. 4-ranked Hornets are doing right this spring.
From dominating in the face-off circle to intense, man-to-man defense, to an attack that finally solved the riddle of the Warriors' zone defense, F-M had it all clicking, especially during a 7-1 outburst late in the second quarter where Lux scored six times to break the game open.
As F-M head coach Chris Kenneally told his team after the game, the reason why Lux had all those chances was because the rest of the team played at a high level.
The Hornets had motivation enough because of what had taken place the last two years. Liverpool had won every match-up with F-M, including a pair of one-sided routs in the 2011 and 2012 Section III Class A semifinals.
Then came news on Monday than 2010 graduate Brendan Englert, a junior at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., was injured early that morning in a serious automobile accident, eventually passing away from those injuries on Thursday. Several F-M players attended a prayer service for him the night before this game.
In Englert's honor, all of the F-M players wore a red piece of tape on their helmets with the initials B.E. on them, and F-M students in the stands also wore red, the primary color of Catholic University's sports teams.
They saw F-M take the lead early in the first quarter when Lux and Luke Krizman score 13 seconds apart, but that was the only offense for either team in the period.
Again, the Hornets found itself unable to find consistent looks against Liverpool's trademark zone. On the other hand, the Warriors were shut down as Josh Pulver, Jake Pulver, Ben Jeffery and the rest of F-M's back line kept pressuring Liverpool into mistakes and expertly cleared the ball out of their own end.