Two days, two venues, three delays and countless momentum shifts passed before the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team could finally put away Fayetteville-Manlius in the opening round of the Section III Class A playoffs.
Liverpool endured the same sorts of delays, but far less suspense and no mid-game location shift, as it beat the combined Syracuse city squad 16-6 and joined the Northstars in reaching the semifinal round.
All of this started early on a hot, muggy Tuesday evening. At Bragman Stadium, C-NS, the no. 4 seed in Class A, was facing F-M, the no. 5 seed, on the same turf where the two sides went to overtime and the Northstars prevailed 15-12 earlier in the month.
As it turned out, this version would take a lot longer to complete. Barely four minutes into the contest, with C-NS trailing 2-1, the threat of lightning sent both teams off the field, and the fans out of the stands, for a delay that lasted close to two hours.
They tried to re-start, but after an exchange of goals made it 3-2 in F-M's favor, the lightning returned, and the game was suspended until Wednesday afternoon. Then it got complicated.
Those same stormy conditions had postponed Tuesday's scheduled sectional Class AA girls track and field meet at Fulton. In moving it to Wednesday (and pairing it up with the boys AA sectional meet), the venue was also changed - to Bragman Stadium, forcing the lacrosse girls from C-NS to move across town.
So the game resumed in bright sunshine on the grass at Archie Hall Stadium, behind North Syracuse Junior High School, where C-NS had not played all season. But they sure got comfortable in a hurry.
It took just four-plus minutes for the Northstars to take a 4-3 lead with goals from Samantha Tortora and Meghan Duffy, part of a 4-0 run that covered most of the remaining first-half clock. At the break, aided by a last-second goal from Bryar Cummings, C-NS had an 8-4 lead.