May 24, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Many years have passed since the Fayetteville-Manlius girls lacrosse team found itself squarely in the mix and playing for top Section III Class A honors.
That long road back to the top included many stops for the Hornets, none more important than Friday night’s battle between no. 3 seed F-M and favored no. 2 seed Cicero-North Syracuse in the Class A semifinals at Christian Brothers Academy’s Alibrandi Stadium.
What the game revealed was that F-M had, indeed, moved closer to the top, but that many steps remained as the Northstars, with a big offensive surge early in the second half, prevailed 13-8.
Just reaching the semifinal required an all-out effort by the Hornets in last Tuesday’s opening-round game, where it finally cast aside no. 6 seed Liverpool 8-4, but not without some stress.
Throughout a tense first half, Liverpool, who lost 10-9 to F-M in overtime on April 22, dictated the tempo and slowed things down, frustrating the Hornets, who somehow stayed patient and made sure it got to the break tied, 3-3.
Despite its youth, though, the Hornets maintained its poise and quickly took the lead early in the second half, hanging on behind a fast-improving defense that shut down Liverpool’s lanes and held them to a single goal, Aubrey Deveau recording eight saves.
Olivia Tejan led the Hornets with a three-goal hat trick, adding an assist. Jamison Seabury scored twice, while Mary Trop, Julie Neuberger and Allison Macrae earned single tallies.
And this led to the battle with C-NS, who had played F-M just 11 days earlier, on May 12, and had won, 13-9, but the Hornets had given them a fight all the way to the end.
For a while, the same thing happened in the rematch. F-M struck first with Carly Primo’s goal just 1:05 into the game. Though Hanna Haven tied it, the Hornets regained the lead, 2-1, when Trop found the net a minute later.
And that would be the Hornets’ last lead of the night. Settling down, the C-NS defense frustrated F-M’s young attackers, and goalie Bri Stahr kept making big stops, finishing with six saves on the night
Yet even when C-NS took the lead on goals by Kelly Lippert, Meghan Duffy and Tiffany Ryan, it could not seize control, as F-M’s senior back line of Sara Falso, Ella Chapman, Gabriela Gorgoni and Amara Pulver protected Deveau, and the Hornets only trailed, 5-3, at halftime.
But within a 50-second span early in the second half, Haven, Samantha Tortora and Bryar Cummings would all find the net.
When Haven scored again two minutes later, F-M suddenly trailed 9-3, and never quite recovered, though it kept on fighting, pulling within 10-6 on Primo’s third goal with more than 14 minutes to play, but going quiet for the next 13 minutes as Ryan and Cummings combined for three late goals before Stube and Amanda Cramer scored in the last minute.
F-M will lose its defensive core to graduation, along with Primo, Tejan and Stube, but the return of Deveau, Cote, Trop, Pulver and Meg Kincaid in 2015 should keep the Hornets a serious contender.