Eighty-five seconds into the second half, Chris Lubrino gave Fayetteville-Manlius a three-goal advantage and began an 8-1 run that leaked into the fourth quarter and guided it to the 15-7 road win over Syracuse.
It was just what the Hornets, who have now won six straight, needed at the time, as it gave them the hope that helped them believe they were going to show they were the much better boys lacrosse team despite the rough start that allowed Syracuse to compete with them in the first half.
That goal was number three of four for Lubrino, who has had a great season for the Hornets after having a limited role last year and says that it is now or never and he feels like he has to come through for his team as a captain.
“I think what has helped me not only become a better player, but a better leader this year is the fact that this is my senior year and, as a captain, I feel I should put all the effort I can into practices and games. With all that effort comes me playing with more energy and enthusiasm during games,” he said.
Lubrino’s goal was the first step to climbing out of the hole they dug for themselves, which is something the coaches alluded to at halftime.
For the most part, they suggested that the players talk it out amongst themselves, but assistant coach Eric Wood did say he wasn’t shocked by the slow start, considering they poured their heart, sweat, and tears into the win over Pittsford on Saturday, but they would have to just play like they are capable of in the second half.
After the game, Lubrino, who is attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall, spoke about the character of this team and how it contributed to the success in this game and throughout the six-game winning streak. He said his team is very motivated, confident, and truly believes that it can play with any other team, but knows it has to lock in because of the tough schedule.
Comparing this year’s team to last year’s, he said this one is better because it is more hungry, which leads to a better work ethic.
“I think we are different than last year because we know what it takes to have the kind of season we want, and it isn’t only skill,” Lubrino said. “We know the other half of a complete team is determination and how badly we want something. We know that if we add all those aspects up, we can beat anyone.”
But he wasn’t the only one with eye-opening stats. Nick Papa and Jack Shanley had three goals apiece for the Hornets. Syracuse’s Jack Kane and Connor Leonard both had hat tricks as well.
The Hornets (8-5, 4-4) visit West Genesee and look to extend the streak on Thursday, when they seek revenge for the 10-6 loss on April 24. Syracuse (5-9, 0-8) faces Cicero-North Syracuse on Friday.