When it roared out to a 2-0 start with lopsided wins over Binghamton and Troy LaSalle, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team knew things would get more challenging in a hurry.
In fact, it did so the very next time the Northstars were in game action as it went south to face Vestal (Section IV) last Saturday and was unable to hang on to a second-half lead in an 8-7 defeat to the Golden Bears.
Things were fine for a while, C-NS potent in its attack during the first half and steadily working its way to a 6-4 lead. After the break, though, Vestal grabbed more face-offs and, more importantly, tightened up its defense, ultimately blanking the Northstars in the fourth quarter as it netted the tying and go-ahead goals.
Josh Pickard led C-NS, scoring twice and getting a pair of assists. Justin Griffith also scored twice as Brody Gudo, Brian Rowe and Austin Vandewalker each finished with one goal and one assist. Josh Brazell also had an assist. Brian Jobin played in goal and earned 12 saves.
In its league opener on Thursday, C-NS will face Syracuse, right before a Friday game against Essex Junction (Vermont), who will also take on Liverpool after the Warriors host Baldwinsville Wednesday night, its first game in 11 days following a 1-1 start.