Even with all the injuries, illnesses and turmoil it battled through this spring, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team still finds itself as the overwhelming favorite to take the Section III Class A championship for the seventh year in a row.
The Wildcats' late-season surge, combined with the struggles of other title contenders, produced yet another top seed for the sectional Class A playoffs. The Wildcats will be at home Friday night for the quarterfinal round.
As a last test before the playoffs, WG went to Archie Hall Stadium Wednesday and spoiled Cicero-North Syracuse's Senior Night, beating the Northstars 11-6.
At 15-2, CNS (coached by West Genesee graduate Bill Aldrich) had suffered a key blow on May 9 when senior captain Stephen Ianzito was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered in an overtime win over Fayetteville-Manlius.
Without him, the Northstars had kept on winning, but Ianzito's absence was keenly felt against a Wildcat defense that picked the right time to shut CNS down.
Following a 2-2 start, WG went in front for good when Ryan McConnell zipped a shot past CNS goalie Anthony Puma in the last seconds of the first quarter.
Through much of the second period, CNS camped out in the Wildcats' end, attacking and patiently working the ball around, as it looked for any kind of opening.
But with Ben Waldron, Joe Fazio and Jack Conboy leading a fierce resistance, WG rarely allowed a shot in this sequence, causing immense frustration. In all, the Wildcats kept CNS off the board for nearly 16 minutes of game time.
Luke Cometti, Jordan Rogers, Mike Fetterly and Tim Besio all connected on goals in the latter stages of the half, pushing the Wildcats to a 7-2 halftime edge. To its credit, CNS kept it even in the second half and landed more goals (six) than any team on the Wildcats' defense this spring, but the margin remained constant.
John Glesener handled the face-offs and also produced a three-goal hat trick, with Cometti backing up his two goals with three assists. Ryan Barber (still returning to full strength from his broken foot) found the net twice. James Haney and Sean McCaffery led CNS with two goals apiece.