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Wildcats roar to 15th state boys lacrosse title

For any close follower of the West Genesee boys lacrosse team, two years without a state Class A championship is a dry spell, three years an outright drought.

Fully remembering the defeats in title games each of the past two seasons, the Wildcats made sure that did not happen again, coming from behind Saturday to beat Syosset 11-7 at Hofstra University on Long Island.

Overall, it's WG's 15th state championship, by far the most of any program, all of them earned under the direction of head coach Mike Messere.

And few of those championships were ever attained with a greater amount of resolve, from the team overcoming a string of early-season injuries, to the last game against Syosset, where a four-goal deficit was wiped out.

WG had all the early momentum, seizing a 2-0 lead in the first quarter behind goals from Tim Besio and Luke Cometti.

That changed, though, when Syosset won every face-off in the second quarter and reeled off five unanswered goals. During that time, WG did not take a shot for more than 10 minutes, and it went to halftime staring at a 5-2 deficit.

When the Braves scored again early in the third period to make it 6-2, dreams of a first-ever state title, done at the expense of a legendary dynasty, began to creep in for the Long Island champions.

But while Syosset imagined glory, West Genesee stayed in the moment -- and soon enough, it started to take over.

Sophomore midfielder John Glesener's pair of goals (with Ryan Barber scoring in between) ignited the rally. Then, in the final seconds of the third period, Jordan Rogers stepped in and ripped a shot past highly-touted Braves goalie Evan Cohen, tying it 6-6.

As it went to the final period, the game might have been tied -- but all the momentum was on the Wildcats' side, and would stay there.

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