In a span of a week, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team conquered two high-quality local opponents, then went out and won its own weekend tournament -- but not before seeing its dreams of another perfect season nearly get short-circuited.
The danger point came on Saturday afternoon, in the opening round of the inaugural Wildcat Classic. WG was in severe danger against Archbishop Carroll, a Pennsylvania school from the Philadelphia area, and needed a memorable comeback to pull out a 15-14 victory.
Carroll came in without any fear of the Wildcats, showing a great ability to finish off scoring plays. During the first half alone, Carroll got more goals than WG had allowed in any other game this season, forging an 8-8 tie.
For Wildcat fans, it got even more perilous in the second half, as Carroll stormed to the lead. With less than 10 minutes left, WG was down 14-10, and only a quick turnaround could prevent the team's first defeat since the 2006 Section III Class A final.
Here, the Wildcats showed remarkable resilience. It started winning the draws and grabbing the ground balls, then cut the deficit to 14-11 before Carly Motondo took over.
All Motondo did was score her team's last four goals, often with feeds from Kiersten Tupper, who finished with five assists to go with her three-goal hat trick. Motondo's outburst allowed WG to go in front, and stay there.
Lauren Welch helped out, too, scoring four times, as Maria DiFato scored twice and Ariel Kramer added a single goal.
And this followed a wild opening-round game where another Philadelphia-area school, Bayard Rustin (West Chester), went to overtime to beat Skaneateles 13-12.
WG met Rustin in Sunday's finals and again seemed to be in some trouble before a patented second-half surge brought a 14-6 victory over the Golden Knights.