Whatever else it may move on to the rest of this spring, the West Genesee boys lacrosse team already knows that it has passed one of its most rigorous examinations.
Once up by five goals in last Thursday night's home game against Corcoran, the Wildcats saw that entire lead vanish, only to make the right plays down the stretch to earn a 10-9 victory over the Cougars.
Corcoran arrived in Camillus with a 7-1 record, its only loss coming to Liverpool April 9 in a game where many of its starters, including star juniors James and Edmund Cathers, were suspended for disciplinary reasons.
Even with them around, though, it hardly seemed to matter in the first quarter, where Mike McCabe and Ike Hopper took over.
Four different times in the game's first 5:19, McCabe got himself open in front just long enough to take a pass from Hopper and fling it into the net, pushing the Wildcats to a quick 4-0 advantage.
That would cool off, but WG still expanded its lead to 6-1 early in the second quarter, and with the way it plays defense, that margin appeared twice as large.
But the Cougars did not back off. Instead, sparked by Dereck Eccles' goal midway through the period, Corcoran started to win face-offs, force turnovers and produced four unanswered goals before Jim Marks converted late in the half, making it 7-5 at the break.
Now Corcoran's defense began to shine, holding WG without a goal for more than 17 minutes, giving the visitors all kinds of time to make a big move as both teams got physical, forcing each other into more turnovers.
Yet all the Cougars could do in this long sequence was tie it, 7-7, on Anthony Jones' goal late in the third quarter. During this time, Steve Mahle got many of his 17 saves, assuring that Corcoran would not go in front.