May 23, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Two days, two venues, three delays and countless momentum shifts passed before the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team could finally put away Fayetteville-Manlius in the opening round of the Section III Class A playoffs.
Liverpool endured the same sorts of delays, but far less suspense and no mid-game location shift, as it beat the combined Syracuse city squad 16-6 and joined the Northstars in reaching the semifinal round.
All of this started early on a hot, muggy Tuesday evening. At Bragman Stadium, C-NS, the no. 4 seed in Class A, was facing F-M, the no. 5 seed, on the same turf where the two sides went to overtime and the Northstars prevailed 15-12 earlier in the month.
As it turned out, this version would take a lot longer to complete. Barely four minutes into the contest, with C-NS trailing 2-1, the threat of lightning sent both teams off the field, and the fans out of the stands, for a delay that lasted close to two hours.
They tried to re-start, but after an exchange of goals made it 3-2 in F-M’s favor, the lightning returned, and the game was suspended until Wednesday afternoon. Then it got complicated.
Those same stormy conditions had postponed Tuesday’s scheduled sectional Class AA girls track and field meet at Fulton. In moving it to Wednesday (and pairing it up with the boys AA sectional meet), the venue was also changed – to Bragman Stadium, forcing the lacrosse girls from C-NS to move across town.
So the game resumed in bright sunshine on the grass at Archie Hall Stadium, behind North Syracuse Junior High School, where C-NS had not played all season. But they sure got comfortable in a hurry.
It took just four-plus minutes for the Northstars to take a 4-3 lead with goals from Samantha Tortora and Meghan Duffy, part of a 4-0 run that covered most of the remaining first-half clock. At the break, aided by a last-second goal from Bryar Cummings, C-NS had an 8-4 lead.
But just like it did earlier in the month, F-M blazed out of the gate in the second half, getting goals from Lilly Hanlon, Mac Everding and Cara Esposito to erase most of its deficit.
C-NS needed a time-out – and got one from the skies. Right after Esposito’s goal 4:16 into the half cut it to 8-7, rumbles of thunder in the distance caused a third delay, but this time it only lasted a half-hour, enough time for the dangerous skies to clear up and for the game to end.
Again, the Northstars used a break in the action to regroup, as goals from four different players – Tortora, Duffy, Sarah Bowles and Miriam Ghabarou – built the margin back to 12-8 with less than seven minutes to play.
Now it was F-M’s turn to use a time-out (not caused by weather) and turn things around. Marri Ryu scored on consecutive possessions, and Sam Hotchkiss followed with a goal, all in a span of 1:08, that made it 12-11 with more than five minutes left.
A tense exchange of goals – Megan Caveny for C-NS, Hanlon for F-M – made it 13-12, but C-NS’s Tiffany Ryan saved the game, first by winning the draw after Hanlon’s goal, and then by forcing a turnover when the Hornets got the ball back.
Tortora, who finshed with three goals and three assists, fed Cummings for an insurance goal with 1:16 left. And goalie Bri Stahrr, who replaced an injured Stefani Reynolds earlier this month, made her ninth save in the waning seconds to clinch it.
Not far away, at LHS Stadium, a far different game took place as Liverpool, the no. 3 seed, had to wait just as long to beat no. 6 seed Syracuse, but was in firm command all the way.
That same Tuesday storm delayed the start, but when play began, the Warriors tore right through Syracuse’s defenses, steadily building a 9-2 lead by the time they reached the half.
A goal early in the second half made it 10-2, but the lightning returned, and the wait began to finish the contest until Wednesday afternoon.
Little changed, though, in the remaining portion of the game, as the Warriors matched goals with Syracuse and, more importantly, showed lots of depth in its attack.
Ten different players scored goals, with only Meghan DiMarco earning a hat trick. Lauren Mancini, Alexis Kline, Kasi Cabrey and Jessica Attaway each finished with two goals.
Natalie Parkins managed one goal and one assist as Mallorie O’Brien, Emily Burns, Jen Kershner and Farrah Ziaie each got a goal. Rachel Kline and Bridey Tracy each had one assist.
This leads to Friday’s pair of Class A semifinals at CBA’s Alibrandi Stadium. At 5 p.m., Liverpool takes on no. 2 seed Baldwinsville. Then at 7 p.m., C-NS tries to dethrone top seed and defending state champion West Genesee, with the winners advancing to next Tuesday’s 6 p.m. sectional final at the Carrier Dome.