For any team aiming at a championship, how it fares without key players in the fold might say as much as what takes place when everyone is around.
When the Westhill girls lacrosse team went to Cazenovia last Monday and earned a 20-13 win over the Lakers at the Fenner Street complex, it marked the second time in less than a week that the Warriors beat a high-profile opponent without a star on the field.
In the case of the April 29 win over CBA, Katie Doherty missed most of the game. Here, in Cazenovia, it was Laura Zimmerman sitting out due to illness -- and it did not affect the Warriors' high-octane offense one bit.
For a time, Cazenovia (who also beat CBA the week before) kept close contact, only trailing 10-7 at halftime. But the Warriors' depth, speed and athleticism slowly wore the Lakers down, and its defense improved along the way, too, backed by Morgan Roach's 12 saves.
Other than stars Kara Cannizzaro (five goals, two assists) and Sarah Wright (four goals), Cazenovia did not have a player with multiple goals.
Westhill, meanwhile, had five different hat tricks. Doherty and Sam Marshall each had four goals and one assist, but it was Annie O'Connor leading in points with three goals and three assists, as Mackenzie Rainone and Carolyn Clark each matched O'Connor's three-goal output.
Colleen Lowery offered some support, too, with a goal and two assists, as Caroline Buonocore and Erin Bright also scored.