Following years of waiting to get back into the limelight, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team is ready to feel it in the brightest way possible.
The Warriors are bound for Wednesday night's Section III Class A semifinal against defending state champion West Genesee after beating Auburn 10-7 at home in last Saturday's quarterfinal round.
This was something close to an exact reversal of the game Liverpool and Auburn played on that same field eight days earlier, a regular-season finale where the Maroons prevailed, 11-8. Many thought that the team's extra post-season experience (it reached last year's Class A final) would prove valuable in the rematch, too.
What turned around, though, was the fact that Liverpool got a chance to adjust to the slowed-down tempo Auburn threw at them, and vowed to stay patient this time and wait for its chances.
Even with that, Liverpool inched into a 6-5 lead at halftime. From that point forward, the Warriors' defense really took charge as Jake Gyder, Nick Peryea, Pat Brosnan and the rest of the back line held the Maroons to just one goal in each of the last two periods. Ryan Duffy picked up 10 saves.
On the offensive end, Liverpool seized a 9-6 edge by the end of the third quarter behind near-perfect offensive balance. Tyler Kamide had two goals and three assists as Derek Thomas, Devin Clegg, Mitch Long and Matt DiMarco each matched that two-goal output.
Now the Warriors get West Genesee, a team it lost to twice in the regular season -- once on April 14, the other on May 9, the game that was head coach Mike Messere's 700th career win. The winner of Wednesday's game at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium returns Friday night to CNS to face Corcoran or Fayetteville-Manlius for the Class A title.