West Genesee girls lacrosse head coach Bob Elmer knew his team was going to have to play a solid all-around game to get past league contender Fayetteville-Manlius on Tuesday night.
"With F-M you know it's going to be a hard-fought game and there's going to be a lot of speed on the field," Elmer said. "The game plan coming in was taking care of the ball and doing the best with the chances we got. Sometimes we were successful, sometimes we weren't tonight, but I think we're ready to do well at the end of the year."
Hard-fought was exactly what the night brought for the Wildcats as they hung on to edge the Hornets 9-8 in a CNYCL American battle at West Genesee.
The Wildcats, who moved to 16-0 on the season and remain ranked No. 1 in the state, did a great job running their offense early on. They were superb at finding the open player who was cutting into the crease and finishing. Both sides played very physical defense and went back and fourth on offense in the first half.
With WG holding a slim 3-2 lead, the Hornets (7-1, 11-6) tallied the next three scores of the game with goals by Morgan Axenfeld and Shannon McHugh to gain the momentum and a 5-3 lead. It was then the Wildcats turn to score three straight as Ariel Kramer, Lauren Welch and Maria DiFato all found the back of the net over the last eight minutes of the opening half to reclaim the lead 6-5 going into halftime.
WG erupted for three quick goals to start the second half and take a 9-5 lead. Bre Hudgins notched one and Kramer fired in her third and fourth scores of the game to ignite the home crowd.
F-M regrouped and got back into the contest by scoring the next three goals to cut the deficit to one at 9-8 halfway through the half. After six goals were scored in the first 14 minutes of the second half, it suddenly became a defensive war on both sides where neither team scored again the last 11 minutes.