CORTLAND — Effort, intensity and attitude were never a problem with the Fayetteville-Manlius women’s lacrosse team in Friday’s Class B semifinal at SUNY-Cortland — but the opposition certainly was.
Division V champions Victor overwhelmed the Hornets with his skill and depth, leading to a 15-7 loss as an FM, making his third appearance in the last four states, again falling short of the ultimate prize he won in class A. in 2004 and ’05.
So much in this game hinged on how Ava Angello fared in the center circle, and she held her ground early, splitting the first four draws and, with a goal and an assist, forging a 2-2 tie.
The all-round skill of the Blue Devils quickly took over. In less than five minutes, Victor scored five unanswered goals, taking a lead he would not relinquish.
FM’s problem was that every time he made a mistake, the Blue Devils would pounce on the ball and, using his speed, depth and athleticism, wear down the Hornets defense.
To his credit, the Hornets played on even terms the rest of the first half after that push from Victor. Angello hit the 100-goal mark for the season and then added a 101st goal in the dying seconds to cut the Blue Devils’ advantage to 10-5 at the break.
However, any chance of a bigger comeback was dissipated when FM couldn’t convert their long possessions early in the second half and Victor, with goals from Olivia Bruno and Amber DeRosa, extended their margin. at 12-5.
It wasn’t until Angello converted with 14:50 to play that the Hornets entered the board in the second half. Angello and Julianna Cogliandro had hat-tricks, but FM were never able to string together back-to-back goals.
Grace Reyna had two assists, while Melanie Steigerwald added just one. Hannah Williamson, in goal, made four saves.
Victor, who qualified to face Queensbury in the state title game on Saturday, trailed Eva Pronti’s four goals and four assists. Devin Livingston also scored four times, with Maddison Mabbett adding three goals and an assist.