In the middle of the third quarter, Brian Jones gave Fayetteville-Manlius all the confidence it needed to squeak out the 8-7 home win over Liverpool.
As Jones surveyed the field on that possession, none of his teammates had a good look at the goal and the idea of being knotted in a 6-6 battle was creating a sense of urgency for the Hornets. Spectators were beginning to look at the scoreboard and envision a possible comeback, his teammates on the sideline were nervously cheering him and the offense on, and his coaches were gradually picking up the intensity.
That intensity immediately transferred to Jones, who stepped up in a big way in this big moment. He hit replay on all of the things that the coaches have said about shooting and put them into action.
Driving as hard as he could to the cage, the senior initiated contact and made it tough for anybody to guess what was next. He got about five yards away from the goal and just maneuvered the ball into the back of the net. It wasn’t a snipe, it wasn’t a behind-the-back shot. It was just a bounce shot that the goalie couldn’t get in front of and one that made it a 7-6 game.
Jones said that, throughout that possession, he just wanted his team to regain the control of the game. “I thought we have to now keep this lead and not let them think they can get back into the game,” he said.
From there, the Hornets stuck to the mindset that they were destined to win this game and that exciting goal was setup by everything that they accomplished up to that point.
This was a game of runs. F-M and Liverpool exchanged blows from beginning to end. After Liverpool built its 3-0 lead early on, the Hornets responded with five unanswered goals in the second quarter, but another 3-0 run from Liverpool built the 6-5 deficit that Jones erased.
Those runs frustrated Madden, who said that the Hornets didn’t play well, and that’s not a good sign, but he said that what is a good sign is that they found a way to win when they weren’t at their best and didn’t do a lot of the little things, like scooping up ground balls.
F-M visits Cicero-North Syracuse on Thursday. Cabry Hildmann, who scored five times throughout this one, and Liverpool play Syracuse Friday night.