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.