Continuing to test itself, the West Genesee girls lacrosse team faced up Friday against an opponent that, in one ranking, was the best in the country.
Canandaigua came to Camillus with high credentials, including the top spot in the state Class B poll. And it would jump all over the Wildcats early -- only to see the hosts recover, get out in front, then hang on to beat the Braves 13-11.
As the teams warmed up, Maria DiFato, arguably WG's most dangerous offensive player, suffered a leg cramp, forcing head coach Bob Elmer to pull her out of the starting lineup at the most inopportune time.
DiFato watched as Canandaigua, fired up on the occasion, dominated the draws, made sharp attacks and didn't stop until it had a 4-0 advantage.
The cramp subsided, DiFato returned -- and it made an instant impact. For the rest of the half, the Wildcats won those draws and went into Canandaigua's end, DiFato finding the net often as, by the break, WG enjoyed a 7-6 advantage.
Absorbing this blow, Canandaigua made its own response, trading goals with the Wildcats for much of the second half, and tying it 11-11 when Abbey Friend converted her fourth goal of the night with 9:01 left.
Staying calm, WG went back in front with a pair of tallies, then used its dreaded possession game to keep the ball out of the Braves' sticks for the rest of regulation.
By the time she was done, DiFato had put up six goals, plus an assist. Bre Hudgins had a three-goal hat trick as Morgan Corso scored twice. Kellyn Savage and Sarah Brown scored, too, with Karlyn Tupper earning two assists. Nicole Greco made nine saves.
Three days earlier, the Wildcats went to Oswego and did most of its damage in the first half of a 16-8 victory over the Buccaneers.
Controlling most of the draws and attacking on a regular basis, WG did not let up early, racing to a 10-2 edge before Oswego settled down in the second half.
The Bucs didn't know who to stop, since DiFato, Hudgins and Corso each were putting up four goals, with DiFato adding two assists. Savage had two goals and two assists as Tupper also earned two assists. Lauren Michaels and Brown got single goals.
WG, at 11-1 following the win over Canandaigua, was back home Tuesday to face Auburn before a Thursday visit to Central Square.