For the first time in four years, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls lacrosse team will not carry the title of Section III Class A champions.
In the first of two Class A semifinals last Thursday at Homer High School, undefeated top seed West Genesee that would prevail over the Hornets, 16-5. In doing so, WG finally put an end to the ghosts that have been haunting them in the past two years and set up this Wednesday’s final against Baldwinsville at SUNY-Cortland.
Colgate University-bound Colleen Bubnack would set the pace and tone off the first draw, going the length of the field and scoring just 16 seconds into the game.
After Bekah Elmer missed a free position shot, it was Bubnack again who got the rebound put back and scored just 2:33 later.
FM would eventually gain possession and work it from up top. However, the extended defense on the eight and continuous double teams baffled the Hornets, leaving them stunned and without an answer.
After a couple minutes of uncharacteristic play by the Wildcats, the Hornets looked to gain a free position goal. However, it was unable to make due as WG goalie Kelly Fucillo turned away the shot on cage.
Sarah Kuonen would capitalize for West Genesee scoring back-to-back goals, once on a free position shot at the 6:06 mark while the other on a laser flying past F-M goalie Stephanie Deinero. The score was now 4-0 in favor of the Wildcats.
The Hornets finally broke the ice and scored, but that didn’t stop West Genesee as they dominated scoring six more goals to FM’s one to go into halftime with a 10-1 lead.
Genny’s stifling defense, lead by senior Rachel Lasda with the help of juniors, Nicole Perkins, Amanda Corso, Stephanie Dattellas, Maddi Farchione and Emily Rozwood proved to be up for the challenge.
The second half looked to be much of the same, with West Genesee getting the best of F-M. The Hornets would find the net four more times and getting production out of Kate Bonsted (two goals), Morgan Axenfeld (one goal), Shannon McHugh (one goal) and Allie Primo (one goal as well). Liz Short contributed one assist, while Deinero would turn away five shots on goal. Lauren Webster came in relief, earning three saves..
As for WG, both Kuonen and Bubnack were credited with three goals each, Kuonen getting her lone assist on the game. Chrissie Hanley went two goals and one assist on the afternoon while Lauren Burgoon and Abby Morgans had a goal apiece. Burgoon also had two assists.
Two nights earlier, F-M reached the semifinals in a hard-fought fashion, beating no. 5 seed Corcoran in a 10-9 decision.
The Hornets grabbed a 5-4 edge by halftime, but found itself exchanging goals with the Cougars througout the early portion of the second half.
Only when Primo with 11:03 left in regulation did F-M go in front for good, as it used solid defense and possession to keep Corcoran from forcing overtime.
Primo finished with three goals, as Axenfeld and Mary Elizabeth Klepper each scored twice. McHugh, Bonsted and Jenn Williams had the other goals, with Webster earning nine saves in the net.
Six seniors depart from this year’s 10-9 squad, as a deep core of Hornets will return in 2008 to try for a return to the top.