On a Tuesday evening in late April, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team will get another shot at humbling Fayetteville-Manlius, just as it did each of the last two years in one-sided victories during the Section III Class A semifinals.
However, home games on Tuesday nights have not proven to be enjoyable for the Warriors this spring, as twice it squandered second-half leads to visitors in consecutive weeks.
First, it was Baldwinsville rallying in the fourth quarter and prevailing 7-6 in overtime on April 9. Then, a week later, Auburn came to LHS Stadium and nearly followed the Bees’ formula to the letter, rallying from behind to knock off Liverpool 8-7, without requiring OT.
What was different was the timing of the comeback, and the pattern beforehand. Auburn, who had won four of five since an 0-2 start, took an early 2-1 lead, but the Warriors appeared to take over in the second quarter with a 5-1 burst that produced a 6-3 halftime edge.
Again, though, Liverpool’s inconsistency and lack of production on the offensive end cropped up, and Auburn took full advantage, blanking the Warriors in the third quarter en route to tying it, 6-6, and winning the last 12 minutes, too.
Jack Burgmaster led the Maroons’ rally and finished with four goals and one assist, helped by Sean Lattimore, who scored twice. Harry Sardella and Justin Renk led Liverpool, each with two goals and one assist, while Peter Flood also found the net twice. Anthony Calabrese had the other goal as Dom Castiglia, Kendall Keahey and Matt Sala picked up assists.
Furious at this result, Liverpool took out that fury on Central Square Thursday night, putting up, by a wide margin, its best offensive total of the season and smashing the Red Hawks 20-3.
A 6-0 first quarter set the tone as the Warriors, by halftime, had more goals (11) than it had in any of its previous seven games, a welcome breakout.
Sardella, with four goals, led the way, while Renk and Jamie Kuppel each had three goals and one assist. Castiglia managed two goals and two assists, while Flood, Keahey and Antonio Rey also had two-goal outings. Calabrese and Sala got one goal apiece.
So Liverpool hit the halfway mark of the regular season 6-2, with the F-M game certain to be a harbinger to all that might follow in the next month.