Cicero Though it took two games and 130 intense minutes of action, the Cicero-North Syracuse field hockey team finally got ahead of Fayetteville-Manlius - along with the rest of the CNY Counties League.
With first place in the CNYCL on the line Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium, the Northstars, aided by goals from players who had missed significant time due to injury in the last two seasons, put together a 2-1 victory over the Hornets.
When C-NS and F-M had first met Sept. 19 on the Hornets' home turf, they played to a 1-1 tie. In the weeks that followed, both sides had separated from the rest of the league contenders and stayed undefeated, adding to the importance of their rematch.
Of course, the game was important beyond its actual result. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each of the teams wore special jerseys, with F-M donning pink T-shirts and C-NS black shirts with pink ribbons on the front.
The game was dedicated to the memory of Brian Murphy, father of C-NS field hockey alum Brittany Murphy, who passed away from cancer in November 2012. A moment of silence was held in his honor before the opening face-off.
Once play began, both sides found it difficult to establish any sort of attack, with the first penalty corner going to F-M at the 11-minute mark, though it was quickly turned away.
Less than two minutes later, C-NS had a 1-0 lead. Elise Towers, who had missed four games earlier this season due to injury, got open at the point and delivered a shot that soared past Hornets goalie Julie Hockenberger.
Though rarely able to get close to the Northstars' net, F-M kept probing, and late in the first half created an opportunity where the ball spun near the net before Erika Stube put it past Nicole White for her 12th goal of the season.