Apr 06, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Over time, West Genesee has become a lacrosse Mecca to which programs of all stripes are drawn, ready to challenge themselves.
Such was the case for the Wildcats during a 48-hour span late last week when visitors from both Washington State and Pennsylvania took their shots at the reigning state Class A champions.
First, Mercer Island arrived from the Northwest, and WG handled the challenge with relative ease on Thursday night, beating the Islanders by a score of 13-3.
But it completely turned around on a frigid, windy Saturday afternoon as the Wildcats’ offense went just as cold in a 7-3 loss to LaSalle, from the Philadephia area.
Mercer Island (a four-time Washington state champion) visited Camillus as part of a four-game trip across the state as the Islanders tested itself against a quartet of powerful programs.
Already, the Islanders had faced Corning East (a 16-5 defeat), and visits to Guilderland and Lakeland-Panas were also on the agenda. In the middle came West Genesee, who wasted little time demonstrating its skill.
John Glesener and Jaron Davie both scored in the game’s first 1:08, part of an opening period where the Wildcats moved out to a 3-1 lead.
Steadily, WG’s attack improved as the night went on, as the margin grew to 12-3 by the end of the third period. Glesener and Matt McCabe led the charge, each of them putting up four goals. Glesener added an assist.
Behind them, Jim Marks put together two goals and two assists, while Davie also found the net twice. Dylan Donahue had the other goal as Ike Hopper picked up three assists. Ryan McConnell had an assist, too.
In much colder and wetter conditions on Saturday, WG met up with LaSalle, one of the nation’s top-ranked teams, and crashed in a big way.
Other than Matt McCabe’s goal less than 90 seconds into the game, the Wildcats never led. Up against LaSalle’s ferocious man-to-man defense, WG had to stay patient and wait for shots — but once they took them, they flew well off target.
The Explorers, who had twice lost in overtime to national powers from Maryland this season, took a 3-1 lead in the second quarter on goals by Peter Schwartz and Randall Forster just 35 seconds apart.
Yet despite losing most of the face-offs, WG reclaimed a 3-3 tie early in the third period, as Glesener scored and Hopper fed McCabe for a nice one-timer of a goal.
But after McCabe’s second tally with 4:47 left in the third quarter, the Wildcats would not score again, hurt by the Explorers’ defense, poor shooting and lots of turnovers.
Westy Hopkins put LaSalle ahead for good less than three minutes after McCabe tied it. Then, in a 90-second span early in the fourth quarter, Forster and Derek Bogorovski both hit on goals, making it 6-3, and Forster returned for a clincher with 4:08 left.
In defeat, Mahle made 11 saves, and his defenders provided adequate protection. But WG could not overcome all its offensive struggles.
After a pair of postponements, the Wildcats will face Fayetteville-Manlius late this week. The Hornets have started 2-0, beating Union-Endicott and Rome Free Academy by a combined 39-4 margin.