Although its coaches thought it should have imposed its will a little sooner, Fayetteville-Manlius found a way to take over in the second quarter and won big against Syracuse on Senior Night.
The 20-2 victory was huge for the Hornets, as it snapped a two-game skid and was their seventh win in nine games. This is going to allow them to go into the postseason amped up from the fact that their offense has tons of potential when it’s on, and the defense can be competitive with anybody.
But it did have a hiccup that could change the trajectory of the season. As Sam Stratton scored his first career varsity goal, he suffered a knee injury, which has become a recent trend for the Hornets (9-7, 5-5). They were already without another starting defender, Zak Conley, and midfielder Will Gottheld.
Drew Reynolds, who got his first start of the year in Thursday night’s regular season finale, talked about his team and how it is going to deal with Stratton being out for the most important part of the year, and said that he feels that there are plenty of guys who are prepared to see more field time.
“Although we lost one of our defenders for the rest of the season,” he said, “I think our replacements have had plenty of game-time experience due to Coach (Brian) Concannon giving them the opportunities in big games, like West Genny and Baldwinsville.”
And he continued to be optimistic despite the injury to the Army commit and said that this win is more meaningful to the team than outsiders may think.
“Having our last win be our biggest win and only allowing two goals with our back-up defense is huge,” Reynolds said. “This lets us know that, against good teams, we have the ability to continuously score, make defensive stops, and still score at the end of games.”
The defense was the focus of head coach Doug Madden’s halftime talk. With his team up, 9-2, he challenged his defense and said that it had to try to hold Syracuse (5-11, 0-10) to four total goals.
F-M then went out to score eight goals in the third quarter, but the second quarter was when this one got out of hand and saw Jack Shanley have his biggest quarter of the season. He either scored or assisted five straight Hornet goals, which paved the way to his two-goal, four-assist night.
The Hornets are, now, awaiting the playoff schedule and seedings to come out, and Syracuse’s season ends here.