As the Fayetteville-Manlius coaching staff highlighted when it gathered its team after Saturday’s 13-9 road loss to rival Jamesville-DeWitt, the Hornets will have to do a better job of valuing the ball if they are going to accomplish their goals this season.
That became apparent with just over 10 minutes left, when Nick Papa scored to cut F-M’s deficit to a goal, and J-D (7-1, 6-0) scored 17 seconds later and then again 11 seconds after that to take the 10-7 lead and essentially all the momentum.
Even though that sucked every ounce of confidence out of the Hornet sideline, the fuel that this rivalry provided the energy that F-M (2-3, 1-2) needed to give this matchup absolutely everything it had, especially at that point, when there were no fresh legs.
Just over a minute later, F-M grasped a little bit of hope. Jack Shanley then scored to make it a 10-8 game, but the hometown Red Rams immediately responded by scoring three goals over the next 3:13, erasing everything that F-M had done in pursuit of a comeback prior to that.
Although the two J-D goals in the 11-second span and the three straight goals really put a wrench in their chances of getting the win, the Hornets struggled to do some of the things that tend to decide lacrosse games, such as winning face-offs.
Throughout the game, but especially in the fourth quarter, when it meant the most, controlling face-offs seemed impossible for the Hornets. Their inability to win the battle at the X allowed the Red Rams to secure possession after possession and to go on the 3-0 run that squashed the hope F-M had.
Those problems, though frustrating, aren’t too much of a surprise for the Hornets, considering that they are without the guy who won close to 69 percent of his face-offs last season in recovering senior Zak Van Valkenburg.
Tuesday, the Hornets face West Genesee and J-D hosts Oswego.