Mar 31, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In the most technical of terms, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team’s 2007 season got started last Tuesday night, when the Wildcats put a 19-3 beating on Rush-Henrietta.
But it really started on May 31, 2006 — the day the Wildcats, undefeated and atop the state rankings, was victimized by a late Fayetteville-Manlius comeback and could not snag the Section III Class A title.
Ever since then, WG, knowing it was bringing all but a handful of players back, have pointed toward this season — and finishing the job.
First, though, the team had to get started. And an encounter last Thursday with two-time defending state Class C champion Skaneateles would offer a proper examination.
Overcoming a sluggish start and playing its best defense down the stretch, WG would get past the Lakers in an 11-7 decision.
If the Wildcats had any illusion to the challenge of this contest, it was shattered when, in the game’ s first five minutes, Libby Johnson and Jenna Lotkowictz both had goals to give Skaneateles a 2-0 advantage.
Gradually, the home team began to assert itself on both ends. Four different players — Sarah Kuonen, Chrissie Hanley, Bekah Elmer and Kiersten Tupper — scored to pull WG in front, and after Kuonen’s second tally, the Wildcats had a 5-2 lead than lingered into halftime.
Proving its own toughness and heart, Skaneateles never let WG get too far away in the second half, but it never got closer than two goals (5-3, early in the second half) thanks to a tough, physical Wildcat defense.
Mainly, WG focused on Laker senior Stephanie Rice, an explosive scorer. Every time she had the ball, a defender would blanket her, offering the occasional push to keep Rice from running free. All told, Rice was held to one goal, more than making up for the fact that Johnson found the net four times.
For WG, Kuonen led with four goals of her own. Both Tupper and Colleen Bubnack came up with two goals and one assist, while Elmer, Hanley and Maria DiPato each had one goal and one assist.
Two days earlier, WG had hosted Rush-Henrietta and could not have offered a better opening argument.
With steady and relentless drive, the Wildcats built a 10-2 halftime lead and kept on going, spreading its attack around to all of its stars.
Lauren Burgoon had a team-best four goals. Elmer, Tupper and Ariel Kramer each earned their own three-goal hat tricks, while Hanley backed up her two goals with three assists.
Bubnack also had three assists, to go with one goal as DiFato each had one goal and two assists. Jenna Williams and Courtney Clare chipped in goals, too.
At 2-0 following the win over Skaneateles, the Wildcats host Baldwinsville Tuesday, who is playing its season opener without long-time head coach Doug Rowe, suspended until mid-April for actions following a February party involving some of his players.