Regardless of the year, or who's in charge, the Westhill girls soccer team is accustomed to life atop the standings.
Yet the Warriors haven't won a league championship since 2001, watching as Marcellus took over everything on its way to three straight state finals and back-to-back state titles in 2003 and '04.
It might be changing again, though. The Warriors secured the OHSL Liberty division lead last Tuesday night with an impressive home performance against Skaneateles, resulting in a 2-0 victory over the Lakers.
This was the exact same score by which Westhill beat Marcellus a week earlier, on Sept. 26, but in this case Skaneateles stocked a full roster that the Warriors had to worry about.
Mostly, the Warriors' defense centered on containing Jenna Lotkowictz, the Lakers' red-hot forward, who had recorded nine goals in her team's previous four games.
Indeed, Westhill did shut Lotkowictz down, and none of her Skaneateles teammates could make up for it. Anchored by seniors Jenna Martens, Alex Root and Meghan Lingenfelter, the Warriors' back line made sure the net was well-protected.
Meanwhile, Westhill swarmed the Lakers' net all night, recording 21 shots. Anna Hutchings would earn assists on both scoring plays as Laura Zimmerman and Carly Cooper got the goals.
Armed with the league lead, the Warriors went to Cazenovia on Thursday afternoon -- and promptly got pulled back to earth, losing to those other Lakers by that same 2-0 margin.
No team had gone to the Fenner complex and won this season -- and Westhill would meet the same inglorious fate on the same field where it knocked Cazenovia out of the Class B playoffs a year ago.
Under attack for most of the contest, Lauren Snyder made 11 saves, but could not keep everything out as Cazenovia freshman Katie Kleine got both of her team's goals on fast-break feeds -- one from Mackenzie Moore, the other from Sarah Wright.
Head coach Lisa Dwyer said her entire team was flat, a stark contrast to the energy it showed in dominating Skaneateles two nights earlier.
Other than Tuesday's home match with Solvay, the Warriors (8-3-1) stay quiet for a while, a chance to regroup and fire up for the Oct. 19 showdown with Marcellus and the Section III Class B tournament that follows.