Once again, the Liverpool boys lacrosse teams finds itself in the Section III Class A semifinal round, facing off with Fayetteville-Manlius.
Only now it's the case of a Warriors team that, despite its status as defending champions, is an underdog against the unbeaten, top-seeded, state Class A no. 3-ranked Hornets.
True, Liverpool had knocked out F-M in this same round each of the last two years. But it also lost 13-4 to the Hornets in their lone regular-season meeting on April 23 as Kevin Lux torched the Warriors for a career-high 10 goals.
After a 24-hour weather postponement, the Warriors entered the post-season fray against no. 5 seed Corcoran in the opening round last Wednesday night at LHS Stadium, dominating the game’s middle stages to prevail 10-5 over the Cougars.
When the two teams first met April 30, Liverpool, caught in a mid-season slump, needed a late-game comeback and last-second goal from Peter Flood to pull it out 9-8.
The rematch saw Corcoran blank the Warriors in the first quarter, but not get away it only led 2-0. And once Liverpool’s attack got going in the second period, things turned around, the hosts moving in front 4-3 by the break.
During a decisive third quarter, the Warriors outscored Corcoran 5-1, and since it tried to slow things down, the Cougars found that it could not speed up and be effective against Liverpool’s stingy zone defense, anchored by Dominick Madonna, who stopped 13 of the 18 shots he faced.
Justin Renk led the Warriors’ attack, with four goals and one assist. Jamie Kuppel managed a three-goal hat trick, while Flood scored twice and added an assist. Harry Sardella dished out three assists and Kendall Keahey added two assists as Pete Sterio added a goal.
For Cicero-North Syracuse , the end of its season also played out over two days, and in all that time the Northstars could not find the net.