May 13, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Even though his knee was taped up and he hobbled, Stephen Ianzito ran out to the field and joined his Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse teammates in celebration of a huge victory last Friday at Archie Hall Stadium.
Disappointed one moment when Fayetteville-Manlius tied it at the end of regulation, the Northstars regrouped and beat the Hornets 8-7 on Sean McCaffery’s goal 2:03 into overtime, moving its record to 12-2 in the process.
A large and enthusiastic crowd came to Taft Road to see if the Northstars would gain payback from an 8-5 loss to F-M earlier this season.
They didn’t find out many answers in a physical first half. Despite forcing F-M into a rash of turnovers and penalties, CNS couldn’t take full advantage, instead going to the break in a 3-3 tie.
At first, it looked like the Northstars would take control in the third quarter when Mike Barnes and Robbie Ashlaw nailed goals to put the team in front, 5-3. Again, though, F-M answered and tied it, 5-5, by the end of the period.
And the news got worse when, amid a scramble for the ball on the near sideline, Ianzito screamed out in pain and fell to the turf. He had injured his right knee, and no one quite knew how serious it was — but the senior captain would miss the rest of the game.
Determined to give Ianzito the win, CNS battled through a tense stalemate for most of the fourth quarter before James Haney scored with 3:27 left in regulation — but the Northstars’ lead lasted barely a minute, as F-M’s Blair Hanson tied it.
Working the clock after it won the face-off, the Northstars waited for the right opportunity. Finally, with 30.1 seconds left, Barnes, from the point, fired a shot home and CNS led 7-6. All it needed was to win the ensuing face-off and win.
But F-M got the draw, called time-out, and set up a day. Eventually, the ball went to Mike O’Neil — and from the point, O’Neil’s rocket shot with 9.3 seconds left flew past Anthony Puma into the net, and it was even again.
Shaking that off, CNS took control in overtime, drawing another F-M penalty. Though not converting on the man-up, the Northstars kept possession and worked it to McCaffery. From the right point, McCaffery’s shot flew past F-M goalie Chris Miles into the net, and the celebration was on.
Later, it was revealed that Ianzito had dislocated his kneecap. It got popped back into place that night, and further tests revealed no ligament damage, just an MCL sprain that should allow him to return before the end of the regular season.
CNS, perhaps looking ahead a bit too much to F-M, had to play a strong second half last Wednesday at Rome Free Academy Stadium to escape an upset bid from the Black Knights and prevail by the score of 15-9.
Once it had a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Northstars began to relax — a bit too much, as it turned out. RFA attacked hard, doubled up the CNS out put and was within striking distance, 7-5, as they went to halftime.
Steadily, the Northstars regrouped and regained control over the last two periods, led there by Haney, who finished with four goals and one assist.
Behind Haney, Mike DeBottis had two goals and two assists, with Ashlaw and Zach MacNabb each matching that two-goal output. Ianzito and McCaffery each had one goal and one assist as Gairet Myers, Mike Hamilton and Barnes also scored.
CNS would go to Baldwinsville Tuesday night and deal with the banged-up Bees before visiting Henninger Friday night.