What has become abundantly clear in the first half of the 2008 regular season is that, to beat the Westhill girls lacrosse team, one must slow them down -- or put a lot of gaudy numbers on the scoreboard.
Using what head coach Tim Alberts has called the "Loyola Marymount" formula (based on the high-scoring college basketball team of the late 1980s-early '90s), the Warriors have knocked off both of last year's Section III Class C finalists.
As a follow-up to its April 15 conquest of Skanetaeles, Westhill went out last Tuesday and pulled off a 21-18 home victory over Christian Brothers Academy.
Perhaps the CBA win carried greater significance - for when these same two teams met on April 3 in Chittenango, the Brothers slowed down the tempo, kept Laura Zimmerman in check and prevailed 13-8.
Not even four weeks later, Zimmerman -- and Westhill -- would have some payback.
It took the Warriors less than a half to top what it had done the first time against CBA, but it only had a 10-9 edge because the Brothers answered every thrust.
This wild, back-and-forth battle continued through the second half. Normally, the good work by CBA stars Brittany Brigandi (seven goals, two assists), Katie Webster (five goals, one assist) and M.E. Lapham (three goals, five assists) would produce an easy win.
However, the Warriors had a bit more depth, and it went beyond Zimmerman, whose six goals and two assists more than made up for her previous struggles with the Brothers. And even without Katie Doherty, Westhill flourished against CBA's normally strong defense as others stepped up.
Carolyn Clark heeded this call, putting up five goals and two assists, nearly matching Zimmerman's output, as Samantha Marshall found the net four times and Annie O'Connor flourished with three goals and two assists. Mackenzie Rainone, Caroline Buonocore and Erin Bright produced single goals, as Colleen Lowery earned an assist. Morgan Roach did manage to earn 12 saves.
Now the Warriors hope to avoid a letdown Thursday, when it faces Bishop Ludden.