With two periods to play, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team had to feel good about where it stood in last Wednesday's Section III Class A semifinal against West Genesee at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium.
The Warriors only trailed by a single goal, and all the pressure was on the defending state Class A champion Wildcats as it pursued its eighth consecutive sectional title.
But that pressure did not faze WG, as it turned out. Instead, Liverpool saw its own attack get shut down in the late stages, leading to a 9-4 loss to the Wildcats.
Trying to avoid the kind of rout it suffered at WG's expense on May 9 in Camillus (when coach Mike Messere got his 700th career win), the Warriors instead started in trouble, trailing 4-0 when the first quarter was done.
To its credit, the Warriors briefly regrouped. Tyler Kamide's pair of goals keyed a comeback as Liverpool closed within 4-3, helped by a defense that kept WG off the board, Ryan Duffy working his way to nine saves.
In the third quarter, though, the Warriors slumped, unable to convert any goals. Many different times, WG goalie Steve Mahle stopped them, working his way to 13 saves on the night.
Aside from Kamide, Derek Thomas and Matt DiMarco landed Liverpool's other goals. Jim Marks (three goals, one assist) and Matt McCabe) led WG as they advanced to meet Fayetteville-Manlius in Friday's Class A final.
Liverpool, meanwhile, concluded a 13-7 season that saw it rise back to prominence. Nine seniors depart, including Kamide, Thomas, Duffy, Mitch Long, Jake Gyder and Nick Peryea. DiMarco, Devin Clegg, Pat Brosnan and Tyler Kreuzer head the Warriors' returning cast in 2010.