Saddled with as many expectations as anyone could bear, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team continually lives up to them.
As a result, the Wildcats can lay claim to a 45-game win streak, with a state Class A title included in that streak -- and another that just might be on the way.
Taking a gigantic step toward that ultimate goal, WG shook off a bad start and overwhelmed archrival Fayetteville-Manlius in last Sunday's Section III Class A championship game at Solvay's Earl Hadley Stadium, beating the Hornets 13-7.
Even though it's the fifth sectional title claimed by head coach Bob Elmer in his tenure, he said the satisfaction never gets old.
"It feels good every year," he said. "This team showed a lot of heart and just kept playing hard. They're confident, not cocky."
And even if the Wildcats felt any small amount of cockiness going into the title game, F-M took that away in the opening minutes.
Playing with all kinds of fire and determination, the Hornets got goals from Emily Pierson, Caroline Helmer and Morgan Axenfeld in the game's first seven minutes to race in front 4-0, the kind of deficit WG has rarely faced this season.
"F-M came out like gangbusters," said Elmer. "They came out ready to play, but our kids definitely adjusted."
The adjustment involved isolating F-M's defenders one-on-one, since the Hornets were dead-set on keeping Kiersten Tupper and Ariel Kramer from getting any open looks. Given the amount of offensive weapons WG possesses, that proved to be a sound strategy.
Lauren Welch got the Wildcats on the board, and back-to-back goals by Amanda Cizenski closed the gap. Then, just before halftime, Welch connected a second time, and Cizenski won the ensuing draw, ran down and scored just 11 seconds later to put WG in front.