Sure, it owns valuable victories over prime contenders like Baldwinsville and Liverpool, but the West Genesee girls soccer team has paid a steep price for it.
Prior to the Wildcats' 1-0 upset of the previously unbeaten Warriors on Sept. 23, WG already had seen Alyssa Sutherland lose her season to a torn ACL and seen other starters, like Bekah Elmer and Nicole Perkins, also sidelined.
To complicate things even further, goalkeeper Melissa Stevens hurt her shoulder in the Liverpool game. That WG fought through it and still beat the Warriors was a testament to the team's willpower.
Just two days later, the banged-up Wildcats had to go deal with a B'ville team bent on avenging that rain-soaked 4-1 defeat of Sept. 1. Sure enough, the Bees were quicker and fresher, and it showed as WG fell by a score of 4-0.
Mostly, the first half consisted of the Wildcats attempting, in some way, to keep talented B'ville sophomore Quincy Spagnoletti from scoring every time she touched the ball.
It didn't quite work, as Spagnoletti accumulated a three-goal hat trick to give the Bees a 3-0 edge. Eventually, WG would settle down and Colleen Finney would make six saves, but the damage had been inflicted.
Following this, the Wildcats looked to bounce back Wednesday against Rome Free Academy -- and despite its depleted lineup, WG was impressive in this game, defeating the Black Knights 3-1.
All of the Wildcats' offense came in the first half as it built a 3-0 advantage. Lauren Corso and Colleen Bubnack each had one goal and one assist to set the pace, while Maggie Yackel had the other goal. Chelsea Kuss added an assist.
On Friday, WG would visit Auburn to take on the high-scoring Maroons, who had averaged more than five goals a game on its way to a 9-1 start and the lead in the OHSL Colonial American division.