Apr 16, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In the span of 24 hours, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team knocked off two possible Section III Class A challengers, further enforcing its status as the overwhelming favorites.
Hennigner/Nottingham came first, a vastly improved team that had ripped to a 5-0 start (including a win over Liverpool on April 11), but had not faced anyone even close to WG’s level.
The Wildcats ran to Sunnycrest Field last Tuesday afternoon and put a halt to the Black Knights’ season-opening, five-game win streak with a 15-2 romp.
By slowing down the tempo and taking a lot of time with its possessions, the Black Knights stayed within sight for the game’s first 15 minutes.
But after Theresa Walton converted with 9:48 left in the first half, Henninger/Nottingham did not score again. WG’s air-tight defense, anchored by Stephanie Datellas, Amanda Corso and Lauren Corso, especially proved effective against top scorers Rachel Brand and Dayna Piraino, as neither of them got a point all afternoon.
Meanwhle, the Wildcats methodically closed the first half on a 5-0 run, then kept pulling further away in the second half with its usual blend of offensive balance.
Maria DiFato put up four goals and one assist, with Amanda Cizenski and Lauren Welch each finding the net three times. Kiersten Tupper had four assists to go with her pair of goals, as Karen Bianchi also scored twice. Bre Hudgins added one goal and one assist, as Carly Motondo picked up two assists.
Fayetteville-Manlius was next. Under new head coach Tom Blackford, the Hornets had started 4-2, but were just coming off a 13-10 loss to CBA and were without a key player, Morgan Axenfeld, sitting out with an ankle injury.
Yet this would prove to be the Wildcats’ most thorough examination so far. WG prevailed by a score of 15-7, but the margin did not, in any way, reflect how difficult it was.
With its own blend of speed and power, the Hornets won most of the early battles for ground balls and draws, leading to an exchange of momentum that covered most of the first half.
In fact, twice during the half, F-M took the lead, 2-1 and 3-2, and the Wildcats didn’t go in front for good until Ariel Kramer scored with 8:38 left in the half.
Thanks to some point-blank Lauren Webster saves, the Wildcats were unable to draw clear, at least at first, so it went to halftime with a 5-3 edge, and head coach Bob Elmer was unhappy with his team’s start.
Elmer would feel better after the second half, though. WG won more draws and spent more time in the Hornets’ end, gradually wearing out the defense, even if the results were not immediate.
F-M had cut it to 6-4 on Jen Williams’ goal with 16:27 to play. Less than a minute later, Motondo answered, and soon after, Bre Hudgins charged in and score to make it 8-4, and Welch did the same a mere 14 seconds later. The three goals, in a combined span of 1:02, helped the Wildcats get away.
Kramer, with four goals, and DiFato, with three goals, led WG’s push, as Williams paced a strong F-M performance with two goals and two assists.
On Saturday and Sunday, WG will host its inaugural tournament, with Skaneateles and two teams from Pennsylvania serving as the opposition.