From barely being able to stay on the same field with the likes of West Genesee, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team has made immense progress in the last 12 months.
In fact, the Warriors' attack proved potent in Tuesday's home game against the vaunted defense of the reigning state Class A champions, even though the Wildcats still prevailed by a score of 15-10.
Few teams ever reach double digits against WG, and Liverpool pulled this off despite playing in a constant catch-up mode. Only down 3-2, the Warriors watched the Wildcats reel off four goals in a span of less than three minutes in the second quarter to make it 7-2.
Continuing to work, Liverpool had Derek Thomas scored twice late in the half, making it 7-4 at the break. Every time the Warriors got close, though, WG had a ready answer, usually involving Jordan Rogers, who led both sides with six goals.
Still, Liverpool made the Wildcats work until the end, as Thomas and reserve Tanner Kreuzer each recorded three-goal hat tricks. By themselves, Thomas and Kreuzer both topped the two goals Fayetteville-Manlius scored in an April 11 loss to WG.
Matt DiMarco offered support, finding the net twice, while Tyler Kamide and Mitch Long had one goal apiece. WG goalie Steve Mahle (11 saves) prevented a closer contest as Rogers, Matt McCabe (two goals, three assists) and Ike Hopper (one goal, four assists) led WG along.
Interesting as that game was, it paled next to Friday's wild battle at Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Warriors blew a huge fourth-quarter lead, yet still found enough fortitude to fight past the Northstars 15-14.
For much of the game, Liverpool was in full control. It steadily built a 6-3 halftime edge, then appeared to put things away when it built a 13-5 margin early in the fourth quarter.